Long Beach student takes home 2nd place in national academic competition for blind students

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christina-lacsina National Braille ChallengeOn Saturday, June 26, 8-year-old Christine Lacsina of Long Beach furrowed her brow in concentration while typing furiously on the brailler. The blind competitor, representing the state of California in a national academic competition, did not realize it at the moment that she would win second place.

A finalist, Christine was chosen from among more than 700 of the top blind and visually impaired students to travel to Los Angeles to test her braille skills at the 10th Annual National Braille Challenge.

The National Braille Challenge, sponsored by Braille Institute of America, is the only national academic competition for blind students in the nation. It is specifically designed to challenge and motivate students, while encouraging them to continue their study of braille.

Christine attends second grade at Prisk Elementary School, where she received an Achievement Award. Christine enjoys reading and math. The avid reader is also a music lover who enjoys playing the piano and the guitar. She is also a fan of rock and jazz music, and likes to sing karaoke with her brother.

In this year’s National Braille Challenge, Christine, along with 60 other blind and visually impaired students, ages 6 to 19, competed in categories that required them to transcribe, type and read braille using a device called a Perkins Brailler.

Each category was designed to test their braille skills in several areas – reading comprehension, braille spelling, chart and graph reading, proofreading and braille speed and accuracy. As the first place winner in her category, Christine Lacsina received a trophy and a $750 savings bond.

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