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The Braille Monitor,  October 2001 EditionThis is a line.

Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest

Sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children and the
National Association to Promote the Use of Braille

Purpose of Contest

The purpose of the Braille Readers Are Leaders contest is to encourage blind children to read more Braille. Good readers  have confidence in themselves and in their abilities to learn and to adapt to new situations throughout their lifetimes. Braille is a viable alternative to print, yet too many blind children are graduating from our schools with low expectations for themselves as readers. They do not know that Braille readers can be competitive with print readers. This contest helps blind children realize that reading Braille is fun and rewarding.

Prizes for the Contest

     First‑, second‑, and third‑place winners are selected from each of the five categories. All winners receive a cash prize, a special certificate, and a distinctive NFB Braille Readers Are Leaders T‑shirt. First‑place winners receive $75, second‑place winners $50, and third‑place winners $25. Students who place fourth and fifth in each category receive Honorable Mention recognition and a special T-shirt. All contestants receive a Braille certificate and a ribbon.

     The top ten contestants, regardless of category, who demonstrate the most improvement over their performance in the previous year’s contest receive Most Improved Braille Reader awards of $15, a T-shirt, and a special certificate. To be considered for this award, the contestant must enter the contest for two consecutive years and cannot be a winner in the current contest or any previous one.

Schools for the Blind

     In addition to the individual prizes, one or more specialized schools for the blind receive a cash prize of up to $200 for outstanding participation in the contest. See insert for more details.

Teacher Recognition

     National  recognition, a Braille Readers Are Leaders T-shirt, and a certificate are given to a teacher who has demonstrated excellence in the promotion of Braille literacy through support of the Braille Readers Are Leaders contest.

Join the Club!

    Special Club ribbons are awarded to those contestants who achieve the following levels of pages read:

   500 + pages         500 Club yellow ribbon

   1,000+ pages       1,000 Club green ribbon

   4,000+ pages       4,000 Club orange ribbon

   8,000+ pages       8,000 Club red ribbon

   12,000+ pages     12,000 Club blue ribbon


   The sponsors of the Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest realize that children may need frequent encouragement and recognition to  achieve goals in reading.  We hope that teachers and parents will use the club ribbon recognition system to motivate students to strive for higher levels of reading proficiency each year.


   Schools are encouraged to schedule public presentations of the certificates. Alternatively, presentations may be made in the classroom, at the local National Federation of the Blind Chapter meeting, or in some other appropriate setting. Members of the National Federation of the Blind will award the certificates and other prizes whenever possible. Certificates, ribbons, and a winners list will be mailed to contestants no later than the first week in May, 2002.

Rules for the Contest

     Winners will be chosen based on the number of Braille pages read. The completed contest entry form should be postmarked no later than February 15, 2002. (Please call or e-mail to request an extension of the deadline. See contact information below.) Contestants must submit with the entry form a print list of the materials and pages read. Entry forms without this list will be returned to the sender. See insert “Common  Questions  and Answers”  for  more   details.

Certifying Authority

     The certifying authority is responsible for (1) verifying that the student read the Braille material listed and that the material was read between November 1, 2001, and February 1, 2002; (2) filling out and sending in the contest entry form in an accurate, complete, and timely fashion; and (3) assisting the student in finding Braille materials to read for the contest.

     Teachers, librarians, and parents may serve as certifying authorities. The certifying authority must be prepared to cooperate if the contest judges have questions or need additional information about an entry. All decisions of the judges are final.

For more information contact:

(Mrs.) Barbara Cheadle

National Organization of Parents

of Blind Children 

1800 Johnson Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21230

(410) 659-9314, ext. 360


Contest Entry Form

Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest

November 1, 2001 to February 1, 2002

Mail entry form after February 1, 2002 to:

Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Student’s Name_______________________________________________________

Birthdate______/____/____     Age__________     Grade_____________________


City_____________________________     State__________     ZIP___________

Parent’s Name____________________  Phone H  (___)___-____  W  (___)___-__

School Name___________________________________ Phone ______________

Address___________________________City____________State____ ZIP______

Certifying Authority  Name ____________________________________________

            Position: Parent   [   ]     Teacher   [   ]     Librarian   [   ]


City_________________________     State____________  ZIP______________

Phone H   (____)______-_______   W   (____)______-_______

Please send certificate and ribbon to:

            STUDENT [   ]      SCHOOL [   ]     CERTIFYING AUTHORITY [   ]

YES  [   ]   NO   [   ]  Did you enter last year’s contest (2000-2001)?

Category: (Check only one)

[   ]   Beginning Print-to-Braille

This category is for  former or current print  readers who began to learn and use Braille after first grade and within the past two years. Please give month and year Braille instruction began:

[   ]   Kindergarten and First Grade

[   ]   Second through Fourth Grades

[   ]   Fifth through Eighth Grades

[   ]   Ninth through Twelfth Grades

            If you should be a winner, what size T-shirt would you require?

(circle one)  Children’s: S (6‑8)     M (10‑12)     L (14‑16)

Adult: S (34‑36)      M (38‑40)     L (42‑44)      XL   

Name of Student:_________________

Book title/Magazine article                                                              # of Pages                               

















Please duplicate this page as needed                                         Total # of pages______

To the best of my knowledge this student did read these Braille pages between the dates of November 1, 2001, and February 1, 2002.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________________                                          Date_________

Signature of Certifying Authority

Common Questions

1.  When do I mail in the contest form? Mail the completed form between February 1 and February 15, 2002.

2.  What if I didn’t know about the contest until after it began? Can I still enter? Yes.

3.   If I enter late, can I still count the Braille pages I have read since November 1? Yes, if your certifying authority will verify that you read those pages.

4.  Can I count my Braille textbooks? No.

5.  Can I count textbooks if they are not the textbooks I am now using for my regular class work? Yes.

6.  What if I don’t finish reading a book? Can I count the pages that I did read? Yes.

7.  Can supplemental reading books to beginning reading series be counted for the contest? Yes.

8.   What constitutes a Braille page? Each side of an embossed piece of paper is considered one page. If you read both sides, then you have read two pages. This is true even if there are only two Braille lines on one side.

9.  Can I count title pages, tables of contents, Brailled descriptions of illustrations, etc.?   Yes.

10.  I have to transcribe books for my beginning reader. Most of these books have only a few words on a page. If the print book has more pages than my Braille transcription, how do I count pages for the contest? For the purposes of this contest, the number of Braille pages counted per book should never be less than the number of print pages in that book. This is so even if the teacher has transcribed the entire book onto one Braille page. To avoid confusion we suggest that the books be transcribed page‑for‑page, one Braille page for each print page, whenever possible.

11.  I have trouble finding enough Braille material for my older students. Do you have any suggestions? Yes. The National Federation of the Blind has free Braille materials suitable for blind youth. To request the NFB Literature Order Form contact National Federation of the Blind, Materials Center, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230; (410) 659-9314, <nfbstore@nfb.org>.  You may also view the literature list on the NFB Web site at: <www.nfb.org>.

12.  Can I read the same book more than once?  Yes, but up to three times only.

Schools for the Blind

2001 - 2002 Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest

   Residential or specialized schools for the blind which promote the Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest among their students are eligible to compete for a cash prize of up to $200 and national recognition for outstanding participation in the contest. No one criterion is used to determine which school or schools receive the cash award(s) and/or recognition. Factors that the judges consider in making this decision include:


__The percentage of the student body (total and academic) participating in the contest.

__Quality of material read by participating students.

__Total number of pages read by participating students.

__Improvement in quality and quantity of participation over a previous year’s performance.

__ Number of national winners.

__Creative ways in which the contest is used to promote Braille literacy and a love of reading among the participating students.

   To receive full consideration for the cash award for your school, please return this form and additional documentation as desired to Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.



Name of School­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________


City_____________________State ____________ZIP____________

Total number of students enrolled______________________________

Number of students enrolled in an academic program _______________

(Students who are learning to read and write in any medium.)

Number of students participating in this year’s contest _______________

School telephone number and other information you wish to provide




Signature and title: __________________________________________

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