Meredith Day, a fifth grade student at Mechanicsville Elementary School, recently participated in the National Braille Challenge at the University of Southern California.
Meredith qualified for the national event by placing first in her age group in the Maryland Regional Braille Challenge Competition, which includes Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia and is sponsored by The Maryland School for the Blind.
The Braille Institute reviews the scores from each state’s Regional Braille Challenge and selects the top 10 participants from each age category. At the national competition, these students compete in a Braille reading competition that includes spelling, proofreading, reading comprehension, and reading charts and graphs.
Although Meredith did not place in the top three positions in the freshman group, she was honored to be part of the competition and one of the top ten participants in the nation. Meredith’s brother Derrick, a seventh grader at West Middle School, also placed first in his age category at the Maryland Challenge. His score did not qualify him to advance to the Nationals, but he attended the competition to cheer his sister and learn more about accessible technologies for the blind.
The National Braille Challenge is more than a reading competition that challenges blind students to excel in Braille reading. It also promotes Braille literacy and is a time for families of blind children to connect, share stories, and celebrate their achievements.