CN Tribal Council fetes area student for Braille Challenge

Hunter Kelly, 10, competed at the National Braille Challenge and was recognized by the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council during a recent meeting. From left are: Former Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor Keith Austin of Claremore, Hunter Kelly of Claremore, and former Principal Chief Bill John Baker.

The Council of the Cherokee Nation recognized a young Cherokee from Claremore Monday night for his accomplishments at the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles and on the regional level in Oklahoma.

Hunter Kelly, 10, was one of 50 students selected to compete at the National Braille Challenge in June. The Braille Challenge measures students' proficiency in braille reading and comprehension, speed and accuracy, spelling, proofreading and tactile graphics.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden and Tribal Councilor Keith Austin presented Hunter was presented with a certificate by Cherokee Nation officials in honor of his hard work.

"Hunter is an inspiration to everyone he meets," said Austin, of Claremore. "In recent years he has been recognized as one of the best young braille readers in the United States."

Hunter began learning Braille at age 3, and began competing in regional challenges when he was in first grade.

A year later, he made his first trip to the national challenge in Los Angeles. In regional competition, Hunter has won overall top scorer in the elementary and middle school categories the past three years.