Alberta has two finalists in this year's Braille Institute's, The Braille Challenge®, one from Edmonton and one from Calgary. Seven year old Edmontonian, Erick Seed, has made it to the finals on his very first attempt at the Braille Challenge. Erick will be taking part in the Apprentice category, where he will compete with students from across the US. Erick is one of only three Canadian students to make the finals in 2011, although historically Alberta has been well represented at the competition. Erick is very excited to make the trip to Los Angeles to spend some time in the sun and undoubtedly make some new friends. Also representing Alberta in the Varsity category is multiple time contender, Rima Kaddoura. Rima, a high school student from Calgary, has made the finals six years running. Two years ago she placed second overall and hopes to make it to the top place this year. Good luck on June 25th to both Erick and Rima! Stay tuned for the results.
The Braille Institutes “The Braille Challenge®” is an academic competition unlike any other. This two-stage contest is designed to motivate blind students to emphasize their study of braille, while rewarding their success with a fun-filled, but challenging, weekend of events. They work with agencies and individual teachers from across the United States and Canada to encourage their students to participate in the preliminary round.Contestants may take the Preliminary Contest anytime during the first two months of the year in one of two ways:
1. Students gain the fullest experience by attending one of the many Braille Challenge regional events in their own state or region. One of the blind service agencies and/or schools near you could be hosting their own Preliminary Challenge.
2. Students may also take the Challenge individually if the contest is administered by a teacher of the visually impaired. Either way, everyone can be a part of the Preliminary Round.
Once the contests are scored, the top eligible students are invited to Los Angeles, where they match skills against the top Braille readers in the nation at the National Braille Challenge. More than 80 teachers for students who are visually impaired proctored their students individually, plus, full-day Challenge events were held at 36 different agencies and schools throughout the U.S. and Canada. Preliminary contestants this year hailed from 41 states and three Canadian provinces. Sixty finalists out of more than 850 preliminary round contestants from North America are being invited to the Braille Challenge® Finals in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 25, 2011. The finalists represent the 12 top-ranking scores from each of the 5 age groups nationally. Preliminary contests are scored according to our national guidelines by volunteer transcribers from across the country, and then reviewed by transcribers at Braille Institute.