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THE RIGHT TOUCH: Ten-year-old wins second national Braille title
by Sarah Anne Voyles
July 10, 2013 01:23 PM | 7520 views | 1 1 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kendra Holloway, 10, reads a message on her Focus 40 Braille Display.
Kendra Holloway, 10, reads a message on her Focus 40 Braille Display.
More than 1,000 children competed across the U.S. and Canada to receive one of the 12 spots for their age group at the National Braille Competition. Tucker resident Kendra Holloway returns as champion from this year’s challenge.

This marks the second time the 10-year-old took home the first place trophy – the first back in 2011. Kendra competed in three challenges – spelling, proofreading and reading comprehension.

“On Saturday morning we went to the Braille challenge,” Kendra said. “You read different passages; one passage was about an unreadable book. The book told you it did not want to be read.”

That evening the Braille Institute hosted a banquet where they announced all the winners.

“We attended the banquet,” Kendra’s mom Stephanie Holloway said. “Kendra was tired so we left and returned to our room, but the Braille Institute was doing a live broadcast and I had people texting me what was going on. This was how I learned she had won.”

After the Holloways learned of Kendra winning, they rushed back downstairs. Kendra took pictures with the other winners and claimed her prizes. She won an iPad with voiceover, $1,000 and a new Focus 40. A Focus 40 is a wireless keyboard with Braille display. Stephanie said this allows her to use her computer to send emails and look things up on the Internet.

The Braille challenge was started to help increase the literacy of the blind.

“Since the growth of books on tape, Braille literacy has dropped,” Braille Institute Director Nancy Niebrugge said. “A blind child unable to read Braille is the same issue as a seeing child unable to read. By having the Braille challenge we hope to raise awareness for the importance of Braille literacy. This challenge is meant to celebrate the ability to read Braille.”

The competition consists of five different contests: reading comprehension, proofreading, spelling, speed and accuracy (similar to a typing test) and charts and graphs. There are five different age groups. Since Kendra competed at the freshman level she only competed in three contests.

Niebrugge said the top 12 are the 12 highest scores from across the nation; one is not guaranteed a spot just because they win first place on the state level. There were two other competitors from Georgia at the challenge.

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