Summer reading program pays off for Sullivan students

Rick Wagner • Sep 16, 2018 at 12:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Reading and summer vacation are far from mutually exclusive in Sullivan County Schools.

And for 19 students who excelled, it literally paid.


For the third summer in a row, Sullivan County elementary school students participated in the myOn Summer Reading Challenge, completing 21,713 digital books from July 1 to the start of school in early August. Twelve students from pre-K to fifth grade were recently honored for reading growth, while seven were honored for reading 100 books.

The myON program is a digital library. Robin McClellan, supervisor of elementary education, said the school district purchases the program “so elementary students can have an additional pathway to read literature and informational text. ... While it does not replace the beauty of a book in a child’s hands, it is another resource we can provide to our children to promote Read 20: every child reading 20 minutes every day.”

At the Sept. 7 school board meeting, the district celebrated students with the most growth in their reading lexile level and those students who read more than 100 books over the summer. Each of those students received a certificate and a $50 gift card to Barnes and Noble.


Winning for greatest reading growth were: kindergartener Konner Tuell of Blountville; second-grader Laura Whitehead of Bluff City; fifth-grader Asia Cairns of Bluff City Middle; third-grader Keithen Ashworth of Central Heights; pre-K student Jaleah Miller of Emmett; third-grader Carrera Mullins of Holston; kindergartener Arthur Glenn of Indian Springs; first-grader Rylie Brown of Ketron; third-grader Brendan Roberts of Mary Hughes; third-grader David Burdine of Miller Perry; kindergartener Sydney Pate of Rock Springs; and first grader-Hunter Abernathey of Sullivan Gardens K-8. 

Winning for reading 100 books were first-grader Peyton Kaffenberger of Bluff City; third-grader Kylee Ashworth of Central Heights;  third-grader Henry Parker of Central Heights; third-grader Keithan Ashworth of Central Heights;  kingergartener Finley Roberts of Emmett; kindergartener Jaxon Martin of Emmett; and second-grader Jordan Rushe of Mary Hughes.


“Teachers also use myON in the classroom,” McClellan said Tuesday.

“In grades K-3, the literacy block includes both explicit foundational skills instruction and the building of students’ background knowledge. When students are building background knowledge about a particular subject (for example, ancient Rome or the systems of the human body), the teacher creates digital and print collections of texts,” she said.“Student engagement with the unit of study builds as they are able to locate texts that further their understanding and are connected to interests and curiosities.”

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