Tennessee Department of Education visits Harold McCormick Elementary as part of ‘Reading 360’ campaign
Published 3:49 pm Friday, March 4, 2022
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BY NIC MILLER
Riley the Raccoon greeted first- and second-graders at Harold McCormick Elementary on Friday as they celebrated being a “Reading 360” school district.
The school is one of 99 recognized throughout the state, and Tennessee Department of Education’s Chief Academic Officer Dr. Lisa Coons was on hand for the program as well.
“We are celebrating all of the literacy work that you guys have been doing throughout the year as well as this week during Dr. Seuss Week,” Coons said to the students. “You have the best teachers on the planet who help you become great readers. We are so excited to celebrate Elizabethton today.”
March is Tennessee Literacy Month.
Elizabethton City Schools Superintendent Richard VanHuss was excited about the achievement.
“Our teachers have worked very hard, beginning all the way back in the summer to focus on early literacy, and today we are here to celebrate the hard work that they have put in thus far and to see all the things that these young readers continue to achieve,” VanHuss said.
“The training that our teachers went through is focused on getting our students excited to read, and when kids are excited to read, great things begin to happen.”
He is equally proud that Elizabethton is one of less than 100 districts recognized.
“We are very, very proud to receive this designation, and that goes back to the people that we have within this school district,” VanHuss said. “That is what sets Elizabethton apart, all the incredible people we have such as our teachers, teachers assistants, and everyone that has a part in this. Along with that, we have great students, so it is very special to receive this.”
VanHuss said the district’s main focus is the success of its students.
“We want to produce productive citizens, whether they stay in the area or move elsewhere, and we understand that reading plays a key part in that. If you can’t read, it makes it very hard to do well in any of the other subjects that they need to learn to be successful. We want our students to be able to read, and then be able to focus on their passion,” VanHuss said.