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Students Receive Recognition for Reading Millions of Words

At the 6th Annual Million Word event, parents beamed with pride as 644 students’ names were called one-by-one to walk across the stage at the JE Broyhill Civic Center, shake hands with Board of Education members, and receive a medallion for reading one million words or more this school year, which totaled 2,545,947,204 words read by April 30, 2019.

“Many of the students being recognized for reading also participate in baseball, basketball, softball, cheering, dance, band, chorus, and other activities,” said Susan Walker, Research/Staff Development Coordinator. “These students are involved in multiple areas of learning and development besides their dedication to and joy of reading.”

Typically, teachers will ask students to complete 20 to 30 minutes of independent reading daily; however, students reaching one million words are reading from 45 minutes to over 180 minutes per day. To qualify for the Million Word recognition, students take an Accelerated Reader (AR) quiz after reading books, and they must score an average of 85% or higher to receive credit. Accelerated Reader is a reading practice program that is used in elementary and middle schools to stimulate students’ interest and development in reading.

Some of the award winners include a second-grade student who passed 121 AR quizzes; a third-grade student successfully completing 206 AR quizzes; and a sixth-grade student who read nine books. The most books read was by a second-grade student – 227 books and over two million words. Top reader, Bruce Tefteller from Collettsville School, read 9,429,142 words.

Fifty-four teachers reached the status of “Empowering Educators.” These teachers’ classrooms accomplished an average 90% or better on passing AR quizzes and students spent 25 or more minutes each day engaged in reading time with 80% or more students reading books independently.