[Nfbnet-members-list] Announcing the 2021 Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest Winners

Deborah Kent Stein dkent5817 at att.net
Sat Feb 13 04:36:09 UTC 2021

On December 1, 2020, enthusiastic readers began 
to log the Braille pages they read as 
participants in the 2021 Braille Readers Are 
Leaders contest. For the next seven weeks, until 
January 18, 2021, contestants kept careful 
records of the Braille pages they read.

Sponsored by the American Action Fund for Blind 
Children and Adults in partnership with the 
National Organization of Parents of Blind 
Children, the Braille Readers Are Leaders contest 
was created as a way to encourage Braille 
literacy among blind children and adults. 
School-age participants entered the contest in 
any of five categories: grades K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 
6-8, and 9-12. The adult category was open to 
anyone beyond high school. Some 120 participants 
from twenty-eight states and Canada took part in the competition.

At the close of the seven-week reading period, 
contestants submitted their reading logs. Based 
on the number of pages read, three winners were 
declared in each category. First-place winners 
are awarded $25, second-place winners will 
receive $15, and third-place winners and 
honorable mentions are awarded $10. Every 
participant will receive a T-shirt and a packet of Braille-related gifts.

In addition to the regular competition, 
participants could be nominated to receive a 
Breaking Reading Limits Award. These awards are 
given to readers who face special challenges in 
their effort to master Braille reading. Such 
challenges include, but are not limited to, being 
an English-language learner or having disabilities in addition to blindness.

For many participants the Braille Readers Are 
Leaders contest was an inspiring challenge. "My 
son is so excited that he is a winner," one 
mother wrote. "Thank you for all you do; it is 
because of the NFB that he has these critical 
Braille-reading skills." "I am so proud of this 
student!" wrote a teacher. "She is the most 
dedicated and consistent reader on my caseload." 
The mother of a kindergartener wrote, "Thank you 
for encouraging kids to read and love Braille."

The top reader in this year's contest was Sierra 
Carreiro, a high school student from Clarksville, 
Tennessee. Sierra read a staggering 8,461 Braille 
pages during the contest period.

Following is a list by category of the 2021 
Braille Readers Are Leaders winners.


First Place: Judy Sanders, Minneapolis, MN, 3,902 pages
Second Place: Lori Parker, Belgrade, MT, 3,380 pages
Third Place: Tara Chavez, Albuquerque, NM, 2,597 pages
Honorable Mention: Angela Randall, Carrollton, OH, 2,596 pages


First Place: Hank Genelin, Springfield, VA, 2,409 pages
Second Place: Mila Chow, San Ramón, CA, 1,074 pages
Third Place: Emma McDermott, Dansville, NY, 380 pages


First Place: Ellie Mason, Wausau, WI, 521 pages
Second Place: Narjis Karimipour, New Orleans, LA, 496 pages
Third Place: Emma Atkinson, Lincoln, CA, 478 pages

Grades 4-5

First Place: Nadiya Albrecht, Finksburg, MD, 975 pages
Second Place: Passion Augustus, Ruston, LA, 608 pages
Third Place: Keaton Hamilton, Newmarket, ON, Canada, 588 pages


First Place: Jonah Rao, Columbia, MD, 4,193 pages
Second Place: Isaiah Rao, Columbia, MD, 4,191 pages
Third Place: Faith Switzer, Las Lunas, NM, 3,462 pages

Grades 9-12

First Place: Sierra Carreiro, Clarksville, TN, 8,461 pages
Second Place: Holly Connor, Clayton, MO, 6,474 pages
Third Place: Samuel Thurston, Chesapeake, VA, 3,282 pages


Nadiya Albrecht, Finksburg, MD
Stella Alford, Indianapolis, IN
Olivia Buck, Bryant Pond, ME
Noah Gohlke, Port LaVaca, TX
Evie Hefty, Sparks, NV
Grace-anna Sullivan, Prescott, AZ
Lily Taylor, Marysville, OH
Luis Villanueva, Kensington, MD
Paul Wales, Silver Spring, MD

Congratulations to all of these winners! Braille readers are leaders!


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