This is a reading comprehension exercise for children. It was written by Susan Fineman, a reading specialist in the New Haven, Conn., school district.
BIRMINGHAM -- Helen Keller beat out a moon rocket, a Cherokee chief and other symbols for a spot on Alabama's state quarter, which will be the first U.S. coin in circulation to include Braille.
Gov. Don Siegelman recently unveiled the design, which includes an image of Keller, an Alabama native who overcame blindness and deafness to become a writer and educator, reading a book in Braille.
Keller's name will appear on the coin in both English and Braille, which has not previously been put on a U.S. coin in everyday use.
The quarter, which will include the slogan "Spirit of Courage," is intended to draw attention to education.
"I think it is fantastic," said Bill Johnson, a great-nephew of Keller's, who grew up in Tuscumbia, Ala. "She was an amazing person."
The U.S. Mint said it will make more than 650 million of the quarters, which will go into circulation in March.
Schoolchildren submitted designs for the Alabama quarter, including a moon rocket or a space shuttle, to signify the state's contribution to the space program; Cherokee alphabet developer Sequoyah; and a Yellowhammer, the state bird.
Several students suggested a Keller coin, and a relative submitted a photo of her seated in a chair, reading, for the quarter. The governor picked Keller.
Born in 1880, Keller lost her sight and hearing to meningitis when she was a year old. With help from teacher Anne Sullivan, she learned to communicate with her hands and graduated from Radcliffe College. She died in 1968. Her life and Sullivan's struggle to help her were depicted in the play and movie "The Miracle Worker."
The Keller coin will be the 22nd quarter issued in the Mint's state quarters program, a 10-year project to salute all 50 states. Alabama was the 22nd state admitted to the Union.
The only U.S. coin to previously include Braille was an Olympic commemorative coin produced on a limited basis in the mid-1990s, said Mint spokesman Michael White.