Feature Writer Alena Roberts – Taking Reading to a Whole New Level

Every year the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) puts on their Braille Readers are Leaders Contest. The contest lasts for two months and concludes on Louis Braille’s birthday. The point of the contest is to inspire young people to practice reading Braille for fun. I myself participated a few years ago as an adult. I read just over 1,000 pages of Braille. For me, it was a great experience, but it’s nothing in comparison to this year’s winner of the contest who read over 21,000 pages.

Maegan, a fourth grader from Yakima, Washington, only started learning Braille two years ago. She’s been losing her sight since she was about one, but she avoided learning Braille initially. Her teacher, Mr. Magruder, has been encouraging her over the past two years, and in that time she’s gone from just knowing her alphabet in Braille to reading and writing in Braille above grade level. During the contest, Maegan went above and beyond even what the NFB expected of its participants. Up until now, the highest ribbon you could receive was for 12,000 pages, but Maegan thinks they need a 20,000 page ribbon as well.

Maegan likes reading the Nancy Drew and Black Stallion book series. She hopes to be a lawyer or a judge someday, which is why she enjoys Nancy Drew. She thinks solving puzzles and being nosy is great. If she continues reading as much as she did during the contest, I have no doubt that she’ll go on to do great things.

This year’s Braille Readers are Leaders contest doesn’t happen until November, but that gives everyone a chance to work on their reading skills now in preparation. Maybe there’s someone out there who can out-read Maegan. She’s certainly created an inspirational target to surpass.

Have any of you participated in the Braille Readers are Leaders contest? Let us hear about your experiences in the Reader’s Forum.

Source: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018461694_braillereader18m.html#.T98KlkFhjhU.twitter

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