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Anna's Story

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      Anna Costanzo, victorious in the Varsity group at the 2014 Iowa Braille ChallengeIt’s many teenagers’ dream to become a star, be it pop singer, movie actor, or Olympic athlete. Dowling High School student Anna Costanzo of Polk City is another kind of star.

      For several years she has competed and ranked highly in the Braille Challenge, an annual contest in which blind students match their Braille skills. Success at the local level may lead to qualification for the national competition in Los Angeles. Anna has participated repeatedly since grade school and six times has gone on to nationals. She placed first in the Varsity group in February of 2013 at last year’s Iowa Braille Challenge and went on to participate in that category at the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles in June. At the 2014 Iowa Braille Challenge she once again took first place in the Varsity group.

      Anna’s success in the Challenge is but one aspect of her busy life. For fun she enjoys reading, writing, swimming, and hanging out with friends. Her future aspirations include going to college, becoming a lawyer, and getting married. In the meantime she is once again on the National and Presidential Honor Rolls at school.

      IDB has been instrumental in Anna’s continuing academic success by providing her with the educational materials she needs to complete her schoolwork. Braille textbooks, digital audio recordings, and raised line charts and graphs are produced for her by the Library’s Instructional Materials Center (IMC). This on demand service is available to students statewide and is just one of  the Library’s many offerings. “I found out about the IDB library and began ordering books from them. I love to read and I love that I have my text books in Braille,” the young scholar said.

      “I’ve never had problems with getting books,” she concludes. “They always come on time. I have always had them at the beginning of the semester. There are never any mistakes and it makes it easy to follow along with my class. I can do a lot of my school work independently because of the materials I have received from the Library.”