Ballwin boy again excels in U.S. braille challenge

May 06, 2015 1:00 pm | By Joe Holleman |

More major kudos for Richie Tienter, a 9-year-old from Ballwin, who has again made it to the finals of the 15th Annual Braille Challenge.

Richie, the son of Richard and Ann Tienter, is a fifth-grader at Westridge Elementary School in Ballwin. Last year, Richie finished third in his age group.
The finals will be held June 20 at Braille Institute in Los Angeles.

The challenge is the only national reading and writing contest in braille for the blind and visually impaired. Twelve finalists were named in five age groups.

Using a device called a Perkins Brailler, finalists will compete in reading comprehension; spelling; chart and graph reading; proofreading; and speed and accuracy.

Fourth-grader Richie Tienter reads a segment of his writing to student assistant Kris Weber during a free-writing period on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. Though Richie is blind, he is a voracious reader and won his school spelling bee this year. He will compete in the semi-finals of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch spelling bee in March. Photo by Cristina Fletes-Boutte,