California School for the Blind
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Braille Program

Braille Readers are Leaders Contest 2010-2011

"The Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest is a national contest for students who read Braille, kindergarten through twelfth grades, and all adult Braille readers.  The purpose of the program is to promote the joy of reading for pleasure, to promote a pride in Braille as a viable literacy medium equal to print, and to demonstrate the importance of independent reading in the development of Braille literacy skills." quoted from the National Federation for the Blind's braille readers are leaders webpage.The contest began on November 1, 2010. Some students at CSB are signed up to read at least 200 pages, others are signed up to read as much as they can. Beginning braille students should read aloud with a dorm counselor or parent and read shorter stories from one, two, or three times. The contest will give credit for three readings of the same story.

Stories for Beginning Braille Readers

Ann and Friends is a series of animal stories designed to help beginning braille readers learn grade two braille.

Braille Teaching Program at CSB
Teacher: Ann Gelles

One of my life goals is to make learning Braille fun!!!  I see 25-35 CSB students in the education and transition programs for Braille each year.  Students range in age from 9-21 years.  So what happens in Braille class at CSB? Braille students work on learning the Braille code and the numerous rules that govern it.  There are over 205 contractions and commonly used punctuation marks in the literary Braille code.  Many beginning Braille students read Ann and Friends stories while learning grade two braille.  Programs are tailored to each individual’s needs and abilities.  Books are customized if necessary.  One student might be reading Black Star, Bright Dawn while another student could be reading Curious George Flies a Kite.  Braille students also receive instruction on the Braille note.  Students use insert, delete, find and replace, spell check to edit and format beginner, intermediate and advance level units.  They learn to copy and paste and set tabs.  Students challenge their mechanics of English skills by editing and formatting difficult teacher-made Gelles challenge compositions.  Besides practicing reading, writing and speaking in braille class, students refine their literacy skills by participating in;


School-wide reading recitals,
The CSB Braille Pentathlon,
The CSB Braille Bee,
The Gelles Hall of Fame,
The One Hundred Club,
The Braille Millionaire,
The Triple Crown, and
The National Federation for the Blind Braille Readers Are Leaders contest.

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