Cypress Cove student to compete in National Braille Challenge

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A student from Cypress Cove Elementary has been selected to compete in the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles in June.

Donavan Chasson, a second grade student at Cypress Cove, is one of 60 students that beat out more than 850 students to compete in the nationwide challenge. Chasson's score was one of the top 12 in the nation and he is the only competitor from Louisiana.

Contestants in the National Braille Challenge will be tested in reading speed and accuracy, reading comprehension, spelling and proof reading.

Legally blind since birth, Chasson first started reading in braille in pre-school.

"When he was in kindergarten he already knew much of the braille code," said Julie Ingalls, Donavan's teacher. "He kept telling me already knew all these symbols," she said.

Chasson said he never thought this opportunity would come his way.

"I'm pretty excited about that," said Chasson. "I just tried my best in the second braille challenge and got it."

Chasson said he is thrilled to be one of the fastest readers in the country, even if he does not win at the competition.

"I'm just going to try my best and do it," said Chasson.

Donavan and his family plan to leave for Los Angeles on June 24th. The competition is paying for accommodations for the contestants, however, travel expenses are not included.

Donations can be mailed or dropped off at the Awesome Association located at 215 Quelqueshue Street in Sulphur.