The Cheatham County Reading Council (CCRC) honored student authors from across the county on April 24 at the Pegram Elementary school library.
There were 138 books submitted for evaluation from Cheatham County schools. “Books may be selected from any classroom in a school system grades K-12,” said former CCRC Celebrate Literacy chairperson Charles Wallace. Acceptable genres include original tales, personal narratives, fables, allegories, parables, legends, biographical sketches, and tall tales. Books are judged using a rubric designed by the Tennessee Reading Association.
After evaluation, CCRC selected the top 14 books to be sent to the Tennessee Reading Association for evaluation on the state level. Rachel Welsh, an 8th grader of Cheatham Middle School, received a gold medal. Ms. Welsh has submitted an entry each year since she was in 2nd grade. Silver medal winners were Lauren Moore, Megan Rich, Will Collier, Maranda Huffman, and Echo O’Connor from Pegram Elementary School. The silver medal winners from Ashland City Elementary were Aviana Gordon, Rachel Sherman, Landon Hunter, Christian DePriest, and Jose Matos. Harpeth Middle School silver medal winners were Jenna Williams, Liam Miles, and Abigail Warren. Student authors that did not win a medal were presented with a certificate for their participation.
In 1983, the International Reading Association invited state councils to “Celebrate Literacy” within their states. The Tennessee International Reading Association asked Dr. Elizabeth Brashears of Middle Tennessee State University to develop Tennessee’s plan for celebrating literacy. Brashears envisioned a program for Tennessee’s children in grades K-12 to fully create and publish their own books right down to the sturdy binding. In the spring of 1984, local TRA councils were invited to submit seven books to the state. Olympic style medals (gold, silver, and bronze) were awarded. However, Brashears disliked using the word “contest” to describe the program because her ultimate goal was to celebrate every student who participated. Therefore, each local council was to hold its own event so that authors would be recognized for their work. This tradition continues today as we celebrate writing at every grade level in Cheatham County.