Six Magic Dots

Amos Cormenius Memorial School
Hopedale, Labrador

When Lindsay Hellings started her teaching career, she had her sights set on New Zealand. But she came to Hopedale instead, and never left. That was 22 years ago.

She found her true passion teaching children with exceptionalities. And six years ago, when she got the call that Jonathan Nochasak was starting school, she prepared – in some very unusual ways. Jonathan is totally blind, so Lindsay taught herself Braille so she could teach him to read. Using tennis balls in muffin tins, she learned this whole new alphabet – every combination of those “six magic dots.” And then, she taught Jonathan. Experts said he likely wouldn’t know his ABCs in kindergarten, but together they proved everyone wrong.

Today, Jonathan is an 11-year-old academic student, attending regular classes with textbooks the same as everyone else’s – they’re just written in Braille. He spends less time with Ms. Hellings now. But when we took the below portrait of them together, we heard him whisper to her, “you’re my favourite.”

Jonathan also has amazing acoustic abilities. He can play the piano by ear. He says he wants to be famous. Having recorded his voiceover for this campaign, we’re pretty sure he has a future in broadcasting. And knowing Ms. Hellings, she will do whatever it takes to help make that happen.


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