Blind, visually impaired students shine during state challenge

Print Article

  • DEVIN WEEKS/Press From left, Ramsey Elementary second-graders Bradyn Sefick and Emilia Paulding are joined by River City Middle School sixth-grader Emma Erckenbrack in the Ramsey library last Friday as they celebrate their participation and honors they earned in the 2019 Braille Challenge.

  • 1

    Much like a six-key typewriter, this Braille writer allows blind and visually impaired people to create Braille pieces. This is what the students use when they produce Braille for the Braille Challenge. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

  • DEVIN WEEKS/Press From left, Ramsey Elementary second-graders Bradyn Sefick and Emilia Paulding are joined by River City Middle School sixth-grader Emma Erckenbrack in the Ramsey library last Friday as they celebrate their participation and honors they earned in the 2019 Braille Challenge.

  • 1

    Much like a six-key typewriter, this Braille writer allows blind and visually impaired people to create Braille pieces. This is what the students use when they produce Braille for the Braille Challenge. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

By DEVIN WEEKS

Staff Writer

Three Kootenai County students who are blind or visually impaired shined during Idaho's 2019 Braille Challenge.

"This is my fourth time," said River City Middle School sixth-grader and top Braille student Emma Erckenbrack, starting to grin. "My fourth time winning."

Emma took first place for her age level, Ramsey Elementary second-grader Bradyn Sefick took first in his age group and Ramsey second-grader Emilia Paulding, whose birthday was the day of the recognition celebration at Ramsey, received a certificate of participation for stepping up to the challenge.

"It was good," Emilia said, admitting that the spelling test was the hardest part.

The students participated in the Braille Challenge at River City Middle School in mid-March, showcasing their Braille skills against kids from other regions across the state in spelling, reading comprehension and proofreading.

Older students, like Emma, had to read graphics and show their abilities for dictation using the raised-dot Braille reading system. For creating Braille documents, the students used a special Braille writer, similar to a typewriter but with just six keys.

The Braille Challenge is a national contest that motivates blind students to emphasize their study of Braille.

"Braille is important because it’s for blind people so that they know how to read,” Emma said. "If I couldn’t read, I would probably listen to audio books. I do, but I still read."

"It’s just like print. You need to start them ASAP,” said Tina Johnson, consulting teacher with the Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind. "They can’t see it so you put Braille labels on your doors and your chairs, just like with print. Can you learn Braille if you only practice one hour a week? No way.”

Melissa Adams, teacher of the visually impaired for the Coeur d'Alene School District, said she’s proud of the students for their efforts.

"I think they're amazing," she said.

Emma, the top Idaho Braille Challenge contestant, won a sweet Victor Stream, a handheld media player for the blind and visually impaired.

"This is a really good challenge," Emma said.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Hackers make enemies of local cybersecurity teams

May 19, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By CRAIG NORTHRUP Staff Writer HAYDEN — Letters and numbers penetrated the white glare of the computer screen in the Hayden office, the hum of prop planes taking off from Pappy Boyington Field ac...

Comments

Read More

Hospital, fire, school, water — Tuesday vote hits many bases

May 19, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d'ALENE — Tuesday's non-partisan local election includes contested candidate races for six agencies and funding proposals for two fire districts, a water and sewer district and a school distric...

Comments

Read More

Today’s Ghastly Groaner

May 19, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Friend 1: "I don't know what the city is going to do with that new park. It has no playground, no trees, no statues, nothing." Friend 2: "Sounds like they've got a lot on their hands....

Comments

Read More

Hayden Canyon spoiler alert: Project is already approved

May 18, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By RALPH BARTHOLDT Staff Writer Hayden officials expect a big crowd at Tuesday’s public hearing for the Hayden Canyon development. Because City Hall likely won’t accommodate the expected throng,...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X