Hamilton County’s literacy program, Read 20, donated $10,000 to Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School Thursday morning. The money went to the school for their participation in the second annual Millionaire Readers program.
The Millionaire Readers program is part of an ongoing Read 20 literacy contest engaging students in reading. The Millionaire’s Readers program encourages children to read a million words during the school year. The winning school receives $10,000 to be used to purchase more books for the school library.
Ganns Middle Valley Elementary had the highest percentage of Millionaire Readers; 68 percent, 379 Ganns students read a million words during school year 2013-2014.
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger who was on hand Thursday morning to present the $10,000 check to the students says the 379 children who achieved Millionaire Reader status have reason to be proud. “This is an incredible accomplishment that is shared not only by the students who did the reading but also the parents who documented the children’s reading accomplishments. Just as the public-private partnership that is Read 20 worked together to make this annual contest work, parents and children teamed up to accomplish a goal that will have a lifelong impact due to the student’s increased literacy.”
The number of Millionaire Readers in the Hamilton County school system doubled from last year. All the student’s reading was done outside of classroom time.
Read 20’s Shawn Kurrelmeier-Lee says Ganns Middle Valley Elementary was not the only school with a high percentage of readers. The chief reading officer says Allen Elementary had 334 pupils who reached Millionaire Reader status and last year’s winner, Eastside Elementary had more than 55 percent of its students who read a million words this school year. “I am so proud of each and every student who participated in the program; we had six other schools participate and over 1,500 students became Read 20 Millionaire Readers,” said Ms. Kurrelmeir-Lee.
Ms. Kurrelmeier-Lee points out that even those students who didn’t quite reach a million words benefited from the program. “Not everyone read a million words, but those who ran a bit short are still far better off, because of all the time they spent reading their improved literacy will pay big dividends later on in life”
Every Millionaire Reader will receive a Read 20 Certificate and a Read 20 Backpack Medallion.