A short story about a koala named David was a prize-winner for a 10-year-old Mayfair Community School student, but the way that the young author wrote his tale is another story worth reading.
Hasan Alhmada, who is blind, wrote the story in braille. His submission to the CNIB Foundation's 2021 Braille Creative Writing Contest earned him third place and a $100 prize in the contest's Grade 3-5 category.
Hasan and his family came to Canada in August 2019 from Syria, via a Jordanian refugee camp. He had not been taught to read and write and did not know the English language, but in the two years since his arrival Hasan has learned how to read and write in English braille. His English communications skills means that he serves as translator for his family of nine, said Laura Glass, a teacher of students with visual impairments.
As a student, Hasan loves learning about the Second World War and the different kind of tanks, warships, and aircraft used during this time. He would like to be a judge or a submarine leader when he gets older. His favorite Canadian foods are pumpkin pie with whipped cream and pizza.
Saskatoon Public Schools supports students with visual impairments through the work of certified teachers of students with visual impairments who have received specialized training in meeting students' needs. They teach additional concepts, experiences, and skills (including braille, if needed) that students who are blind or visually impaired do not obtain incidentally.
The teacher also advises the school team in ways of enhancing the student's learning, choosing appropriate educational materials, and developing appropriate classroom and academic accommodations.
Hasan's prize-winning story can be read below.
One day there was a koala named David. Every day he goes to eat plants and grass. He goes back to his house and sees a lion. The lion says my name is Charlie and I do not like this koala bear. If the koala bear goes up the tree, I will cook him near the sea. The next day David was walking in the forest alone. The forest is quiet says David. 1 minutes later, a lion jumped out from the trees. It was Charlie. David quickly climbed a tree to get away. He climbed an apple tree and grabbed apples and threw them at Charlie's head. Charlie didn't get hurt but he was roaring in anger. Then Charlie saw a fox run by. Charlie says "Stop!" Mr. Fox says "Why did said Mr. Fox. I will give you a new den to live in David was behind the lion and heard what they were talking about. SO he grabbed tree branches and made a koala shape. David grabbed 1 apple and threw it on the ground so Charlie and Mr. Fox could hear the noise. Charlie saw the koala shape and ate it. He had a sore stomach for days. Charlie said. I am never going to follow koala bears again.