CIS receives Be a Champion Read award

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, February 26, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Alabama Education Association has named Clanton Intermediate School as one of its Be a Champion Read Library Award winners based on participation in the 2018 event.

The school was presented with a check for $500, which media specialist Aleta Wyatt said will be used to add more books to the library.

Students who participate are entered into a drawing for Alabama/Auburn game tickets, Principal Louise Pitts said.

Awards are also given to schools with high participation in the reading contest. Pitts said every student at CIS participated.

Pitts said the school appreciates the funds.

“It’s a high honor,” Pitts said.

Wyatt said students were given reading logs to fill out as they finished a book. The logs had to be signed by a teacher and a parent before being submitted to the contest.

Wyatt said new books add excitement to the library.

“When I place an order … I send out an email to the teacher, ‘Is there anything new? Is there anything you think we need more copies of?,’” Wyatt said.

She also asks the students for input.

Sometimes students will request a specific title, and Wyatt is able to purchase it.

“I love doing that,” Wyatt said. “As much as I love to read, I love to instill that in them.”

While some students have series they are especially interested in, Wyatt tries to get them interested in reading new ones also.

In the past few years, Wyatt has added new fiction series and has worked to increase nonfiction offerings.

“I have been trying to update our nonfiction through the last book order,” Wyatt said.

She said funds from the award would be used to purchase a combination of fiction and nonfiction books.

She said having new nonfiction books is important because books become outdated as new discoveries are made.

Students are in the library each day. Classes have a set time once a week for 30 minutes, but students can also return and check out books between days.

An average day has students checking out 1,200 books — the school only has 704 students, according to Pitts.

Through the Accelerated Reader program, students can take reading comprehension tests on the books they read from the library and earn points toward prizes.