Two participants brought home awards and two more represented the school system well and made their schools proud.
The Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America for students who are blind or visually impaired. Braille Institute developed the Braille Challenge to motivate students to practice and hone their braille literacy skills, which are essential to academic and employment success.
Any blind or visually impaired student in grades one through 12 who can read and write braille is eligible to participate in the Braille Challenge. Contestants are divided into five categories and tested on fundamental braille skills such as reading comprehension, spelling, speed and accuracy, proofreading, and charts and graphs.
Keagan Lyons, a fifth-grade student at Livingston Elementary School won second place in the apprentice category in only her second time competing in the event. She participated in the spelling, proofreading, and reading comprehension categories.
Kennedy Carlock, a kindergarten student at Newton County Theme School brought home the third-place award in the apprentice category. This marked her very first time competing in the event. Kennedy participated in spelling, proofreading, and reading comprehension.
Lucas Montalvo, an eighth-grade student at Liberty Middle School, did a fantastic job of representing the Liberty Knights in his first competition at the Junior Varsity Level, where he participated in proofreading, reading comprehension, speed and accuracy, and chart and graph reading.
Lilly Hackney, a third-grade student at West Newton Elementary School, was also a first-time competitor in the apprentice category, where she participated in spelling, proofreading, and reading comprehension. Lilly represented the West Newton Wildcats very well in her first competition.
“Braille is an important key to success,” said Brooke Dial, NCSS Director of Special Education. “It allows for the enjoyment of reading, leads to school success, and opens the doors to future employment. Our students work hard to hone their skills in reading and writing braille to access print media in their classrooms.”
She added, “The Braille Challenge gives them the opportunity to meet other braille reading students from across Georgia. They come to celebrate braille literacy with a day filled with competition, learning, prizes, and enjoyment!”
“Our students are a force to be reckoned with at the Braille Challenge,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County School System. “We have had many winners in the Regional Braille Challenge over the years and I’m so very proud of this year’s competitors. Keagan, Kennedy, Lucas, and Lilly deserve a round of applause for their efforts and the way they represented both their schools and our school system in the Challenge. I am so proud of each of them on a job well done!”