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Red Deer Public student takes home first place in Braille Challenge

Brynn Larsen

One Red Deer Public Schools student continues to break down barriers and be an inspiration for others. Brynn Larsen, a Grade 7 student at Central Middle School, took home first place in this year’s Alberta Regional Braille Challenge.

The Braille Challenge is a national reading and writing contest that helps promote the importance of Braille literacy skills amongst students with vision loss.

Brynn, along with nearly 50 students, competed in three categories including spelling, reading comprehension, and proofreading.

“I really focused on my spelling this year, and listened to the words very carefully,” said Brynn, adding this is her seventh year competing in the program.

The theme of this year’s Braille Challenge was the Olympics, and following the competition students were able to participate in a variety of activities including curling, a makeshift luge and ski challenge, among others.

Brynn also had the opportunity to hear an inspirational message from Tiana Knight, a lawyer and former member of the goalball national team who represented Canada at the Parapan American Games in 2015.

Jennifer Borley, Transcriber at Central Middle School, who started with Brynn in Grade 5, said she is extremely proud of Brynn and her efforts.

“Brynn is the bravest kid I have ever met. I could tell Brynn was laser focused and really engaged this year,” she said. “The Braille Challenge is an awesome opportunity for kids with visual impairments to interact with one another, and it’s great as a transcriber to connect with other transcribers across the province.”

In Brynn’s spare time, she enjoys many activities including long distance running with her dad, and has a few races booked this year ranging from 8-10 kms. She is an avid participant in Sight Night and raised more than $1,200 for Sight Night Red Deer last fall. Brynn is the only participant that runs in the Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary Sight Night events. She also loves music and plans to attend an ELO concert in Vancouver this summer.

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