The 1st of March found the students at Tennessee School for the Blind involved in competition18 Braille Challenge Students using Braillers. The school offered challenges to their braille students through hosting the Tennessee Regional Braille Challenge, while the remaining academic students were challenged through an Academic Challenge. 2018 marked the 12th year that Tennessee School for the Blind has hosted The Tennessee Regional Braille Challenge. This regional event is part of The Braille Challenge®, a national program of the Braille Institute. Both the Braille and Academic Challenges at TSB are funded by B’nai B’rith Maimonides Lodge #46, a local chapter of B’nai B’rith, the oldest Jewish service organization in the world. The Nashville Lodge sponsors

programs and events for visually impaired children and promotes community interfaith events and service. In addition to the funding from B’nai B’rith, Seedlings Braille Books for Children and National Braille Press donated gift certificates. Humanware also donated a Victor Reader Stream MP3 player that was given away through a drawing at the closing assembly. Naijyana Hudgens won the Seedlings gift certificate, Kevin Giron the national Braille Press certificate, and Alyssa Aydelott the Victor Reader Stream.

Thirty-four students participated this year – 28 from TSB, and 6 students from Metro, Mt. Juliet, Rogersville, and Dandridge school systems. Contestants are challenged in five categories based on grade level:

Apprentice (1st – 2nd grade)

Freshman (3rd – 4th grade)

Sophomore (5th – 6th grade)

Junior Varsity (7th – 9th grade)

Varsity (10th – 12th grade)

Only students competing on grade level are eligible for prizes in these categories. Many students compete in a category lower than their grade level, particularly if they are newer braille users. These students compete and are eligible for prizes in the Novice category.

Once the competition part of the day was over, students enjoyed a concert by the very talented Jason Eskridge and Friends, who donated their time and talents to play for our event. The students really enjoyed the music and were even dancing in the aisles of the auditorium! After the music, students played Braille Bingo, complete with prizes for the winners, and then ended the day with a Closing and Awards Assembly.

This year, over 70 students participated in the Academic Challenge. This included an increased number of Life Skills students. Everyone participating in the Academic Challenge received a certificate of participation. In addition, students from each class were awarded first and second place medals. Those receiving medals were as follows: (1st/2nd place)

Social Studies

Group A- Mikayla B./ Malachi W.

Group B- Mason D./ Levi D.

Group C- Lee S./ Keaunte M.

Group D- Emiley S./ Jonathan G.

Group E- did not participate

Group F- Titus S./ Alyssa A.

Group G- Cody G./ Ella B.

Group H- Savannah C./Jaquarius L.

Group I- Esperanza M./ Garrett M.

Group J- Miranda B./ Woovens S.

Group K- Haddan L./ Cody T.


Group A- Danny W./ Mikayla G.

Group B- Levi D./ Ryan M.

Group C- Brian R./ Leah M.

Group D- Christian H./ Emiley S.

Group E- Xaden S./ Evan B.

Group F- Titus S./ Alyssa M.

Group G- Ella B./ Craig H.

Group H- Korey N./ Adam C.

Group I- Rickey M./ Courtney W.

Group J- Miranda B./ Woovens S.

Group K- Haddan L./ Eli M.

Group L- Corbin V./ Barry C.


Group A- Faith B./ Mikayla B.

Group B- Michelle D./ Levi D.

Group C- Lee S./ Brian R.

Group D- Christian H./ Jonathan G.

Group E- Steven G./ Ladarian J.

Group F- Jamerius T./ Titus S.

Group G- Johnny R./ Madison A.

Group H- Savannah C./Jaquarius T

Group I- Franco H./ Christian B.

Group J- Woovens S./ Ethan H.

Group K- Haddan L./ Cody T.

Group L- Alexa C./ Barry C.


Group A- Mikayla B./ Heaven H.

Group B- Ryan M./ Carson U.

Group C- Lee S./ Parker D.

Group D- Audrey M./ Jonathan G.

Group E- Steven G./ Easton H.

Group F- Lilly N./ Jamerius T.

Group G- Ella B./ Cody G.

Group H- Korey N./Jaquarius L.

Group I- Rickey M./ Christian B.

Group J- Trenton S./ Ethan H.

Group K- Cody T./ Keundre M.

Group L- Lizzy H./ Barry C.