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Third time's even sweeter for Falkville Elementary

By Staff
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
Falkville Elementary School was honored recently with its third consecutive state reading award.
RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) and MetLife Foundation honored 455 children and community members May 24 at the Falkville High School Auditorium for meeting reading goals and supporting children's literacy.
Morgan County Volunteer Center Director Mary K. Braddock presented Principal Hank Summerford with a certificate and a flag was raised to recognize Falkville Elementary as the large site Alabama state champion of "Read with Me: the 2005 RIF Community Reading Challenge," presented by Met life Foundation.
The school was one of 1,100 schools and 300,000 students participating in the program nationwide. The challenge seeks to motivate children to read for fun and enlists the support of families and communities in the struggle for a more literate America.
"The RIF program grant funds have been approved for next school year," Braddock informed the audience.
"It made things much easier to say that a school in our system has earned this award three years in a row, and their librarian is a RIF Volunteer of the Year."
Summerford, Braddock and Morgan County Elementary Specialist Jeremy Jones each took time to thank FES Librarian Gail Ayres for her continued dedication to the RIF program and student literacy.
Ayres recently attended a ceremony in Washington, D.C. with Jones where she received the 2005 Anne Richardson RIF Region IV Volunteer of the Year Award.
"Mrs. Ayres is truly a phenomenal person, teacher and counselor to all," Jones said. "Her passion for this school, library and community is just amazing."
Ayres was presented a plaque for her hard work and dedication to the school and students.
"None of this would be possible without the help of the school, teachers and community," Ayres explained.
During two weeks each January, community members, civic leaders and employees of local businesses read with children. Falkville Elementary participated in 23 different reading activities that involved students, faculty and the community this school year.
A panel of judges representing national and non-profit organizations determined winners based on the creativity and originality of the reading or reading-related activities and how well the site was able to engage community members.
Each state champion received $500 in gift cards to purchase books, a commemorative certificate and necessary materials to create a fun-filled awards ceremony, including medals for each student who met reading goals.