Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School has captured the Scotty Probasco Literacy Award for the fifth year in a row.
Principal Allyson Steelman DeYoung told members of the County Commission the school is a shoo in for the prize each year "because of the culture of reading we have established."
She said, "Reading is foundational for success for our young people. We want our children to love to read."
Ms. DeYoung said teachers stress reading at school, but there also needs to be a home component. She said, "There needs to be someone at home who provides love and support."
The school has a 100 percent reading record prior to the merger with Falling Water Elementary, but still is above 90 percent.
Commissioner Warren Mackey asked how the program can work in his district, where he said there is a high level of poverty.
Ms. DeYoung said her school has challenges too. She said half of the students are on the free or reduced price lunch program and "there are multiple children living with single parents or grandparents."
She said a key to the program has been parent volunteers, including Elizabeth Marshall - a school bus driver with multiple children at the school. She works every afternoon to help calculate reading scores for the 865 students. Ms. Marshall has been faithfully doing so for five years.
Ms. DeYoung said the program is also aided by the county's Read 2020, which provides readers twice a year as well as books for the school library.
The Probasco prize includes a cash award which is used to further bolster the school library.
Commissioner Greg Martin helped honor Ms. DeYoung and Ms. Marshall and Shawn Kurrellmeier-Lee, director of Read 2020.