Future Reflections                                                                                         Summer/Fall 2005

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Braille Readers Are Leaders
23rd Annual Contest for Blind Youth--2005-2006

co-sponsored by the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, divisions of the National Federation of the Blind

Dates: November 1, 2005 - February 1, 2006

Purpose: The mission of the Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest is to motivate children to read Braille regularly and frequently because:

Who Can Enter: Blind or visually impaired Braille readers from kindergarten through the twelfth grade in the U.S.A. and Canada are eligible to enter the contest.

Categories: There are six categories: grades K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12, and Print-to-Braille. The Print-to-Braille category is for former or current print readers who are beginning Braille readers. This includes formerly sighted children who became blind after mastering print or partially sighted print readers who are learning Braille while they continue to read some print. Children who began to read Braille in kindergarten or first grade are not eligible for this category.

Competition, Awards, & Prizes: All contestants receive a certificate and a ribbon in recognition of their participation. Other awards and prizes include:

Rules for the Contest: All materials for the contest must be read between November 1 and February1 of the following year (three months). See the “Rules of the Contest--Questions and Answers” section for more details.

Schools for the Blind: Schools for the blind that enroll students in the contest and promote the program and Braille throughout the program period, will receive a special certificate suitable for framing and public display.

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 and February 1; (2) filling out and sending in the contest entry form in an accurate, complete, and timely fashion; and (3) assisting the student in finding suitable extracurricular Braille books and other materials to read for the contest. Teachers, librarians, and parents may serve as certifying authorities.

Interviews: The contestant, certifying authority, and/or parent may be contacted for an interview if the contest judges have questions or need additional information about an entry. Judges may, based upon the information available to them, adjust the number of pages or disqualify a contestant. All decisions of the judges are final.

Notification: Certificates, ribbons, and a winner’s list will be mailed to contestants on or about May 1. T-shirts and cash prizes will be mailed as soon as practical.
For more information contact:
(Mrs.) Barbara Cheadle, President, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, (410) 659-9314, extension 2360 or 2361, <[email protected]>.


Questions and Answers--Rules of the Contest

1. When do I mail in the contest entry form and reading log? We suggest that it be mailed by February 15. Delayed or incomplete entries may cause the contestant to forfeit the right to compete for top prizes.

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, but only if your certifying authority can verify that you read those pages.

4. 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.

5. Can I count Braille textbooks or other materials (encyclopedia articles, transcribed
worksheets, etc.) I am required to read for schoolwork? No.

6. Can I count books that I read for the Accelerated Reading Program? Yes.

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

8. Can I count title pages, tables of content, Brailled descriptions of illustrations, etc.? Yes.

9. What if I don’t finish reading a book? Can I count the pages that I did read? Yes, but only whole pages.

10. Can I read the same book more than once? Yes, but only under the following conditions: the student must be at an elementary (5th grade or below) reading level; no book may be read more than three times; and the certifying authority must list or otherwise clearly identify which titles have been read more than once, how many times read (two or three) and indicate the number of Braille pages read at each setting. Example: Frog and Toad 3x20 pages = 60 pages; or Frog and Toad 2 times: 20+10 = 30 pages.

11. Can I read the dictionary? No. A Braille Menu? Yes, but you must list the title of the restaurant menu and, again, only whole pages count. Example: “Legal Sea Foods Menu” 2 pages. Cookbooks? Yes, same rule applies--the student must read whole pages and must give the complete title of the book just as you would any other book listed. How about the Bible or other religious books? Yes, of course. However, you must give a reference to the book(s) of the Bible you read (i.e. Proverbs, Matthew, etc.) AND you must read whole pages. Please do not give chapters and verses read. Acceptable--Bible, Book of Job: 20 pages. Not acceptable--Psalms 8, 24, and 32.

12. 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 children’s picture 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.

13. What if I want to Braille other material for my student to read, such as recipes or
instructions from a manual? Maybe, maybe not. The judges must have enough information to satisfy any questions or concerns they may have. For example: not acceptable--“chicken recipe,” 1 page; acceptable--Maryland Driver’s Test Manual, 2003 edition, published by the Maryland Department of Transportation, print pages 1-5: 12 Braille pages.

14. 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, including the Braille Monitor magazine. To request the NFB Literature Order Form (large print or Braille) contact: National Federation of the Blind, Materials Center, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230; (410) 659-9314, <[email protected]>. You may also view the literature list on the NFB Web site at: <http://www.nfb.org/literature.htm>.

Q: Why did you create the Braille Leaders Community Service Awards?
A: The ultimate mission of the contest is to help children acquire Braille literacy so that they can participate fully in the communities in which they live. Furthermore, they can participate as leaders. We really mean it when we say, “Braille readers are LEADERS.” An important characteristic of leaders is that they serve others. For example, elected officials are often referred to as public “servants.” We judge their leadership skills on how well they “serve” the community. Good Braille skills allow blind children of all ages to demonstrate leadership through serving others. A first grader can practice her new reading skills by reading a book to her baby brother. A blind teen can take notes for his 4-H club, or read to lonely residents at a community nursing home. The opportunities for service--if you are literate--are endless.

November 1, 2005, to February 1, 2006

Mail entry form after February 1, 2006, to:
Braille Readers Are Leaders, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Grand total of pages read ____________

Student’s Name ______________________ Birth Date _____________ Age _________
Grade (please circle your selection)
K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 un-graded
Parent(s) Name ___________________________________________________________
Home Address ___________________________________________________________
City, State, Zip ___________________________________________________________
Please list at least one phone number or an email address:
Phone (H)________________ (C )____________________ (W)____________________
Email __________________________________________________________________

[ ] YES, I am a dual print-Braille or former print reader

To determine your eligibility to compete in the Print-to-Braille category, please list the
approxmate date that you began to learn and use Braille:

Year _____________ Month/season __________________ Grade in school __________
Comments ______________________________________________________________

If you should be a winner, what T-shirt size would you require? (circle one)
Children: CM (10-12) CL (14-16) Adult: AM (38-40) AL (42-44) AXL (46+)


Name __________________________________________________________________
Position: Parent [ ] Teacher [ ] Librarian [ ] Other [ ] __________

Address ________________________________________________________________
City ____________________________________________ State _____ Zip _________
Is this a specialized school for the blind? [ ] Yes [ ] No
Date of school awards ceremony (approximate) _________________________________
Superintendent/Principal ___________________________________________________

Please send certificate, ribbon, and other awards or prizes to:


It is best to contact me by phone ___________________ email _____________________
Address ________________________________________________________________
City, State, Zip ___________________________________________________________

Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest 2005-2006

Name of Student _________________________________________________________

Date Braille pages Title of book, article, other material

Subtotal this page _________________

Please duplicate this page as needed

To the best of my knowledge this student did read these pages between the dates of November 1, 2005, and February 1, 2006. Please print name here ___________________

Signature of Certifying Authority __________________________ Date _____________

Braille Leaders Community Service Awards

Attach to your contest entry form and mail to:
Braille Readers Are Leaders, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Students grades 6-12 who wish to compete for this award must provide the following information as soon as possible after February 1, 2006.

It must also contain the name, address, phone number, and/or email address of the person writing the letter. The relationship between the person writing the letter and the student can be given in the letter or described in the form below. Parents and teachers of the visually impaired may submit letters of nomination, but stronger weight and consideration will be given to letters from others in the community who know about, or benefited from, the student’s service.

(Note: We understand that it may take a few weeks to fill out the forms and assemble the information. However, the judges may refuse to consider nomination letters received after March 1, 2006.)

Name of student __________________________________________ Grade _________
Number of Braille pages read _______ Date(s) of community service ________________
Number of letters of nomination enclosed (only one is required) ____________________
Comments or other information you would like to share

Name of person filling out this form (please print) _______________________________
Signature __________________________________________ Date ________________

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