Burleson elementary students place third in national reading contest
Students at the Academy at Nola Dunn in Burleson Independent School District (BISD) placed 3rd in the Great Reading Games, a national reading competition hosted by Learning Ally. Forty Academy at Nola Dunn students competed against 22,000 students from 1,210 schools and districts across the country to be named third in the nation.
The Academy at Nola Dunn students, Principal Lindsey Byrd and dyslexia teacher Dana Blackaby, in addition to BISD Assistive Technology Team Lead Tonya Harden, were recognized by Learning Ally at an awards assembly on March 29. Students received prizes, including Chromebooks, headphones, student prize packs and a gift card for a party.
“Placing third in the nation is a phenomenal achievement for our students, and a reflection of the drive and hard work these students put into reading,” said Dr. Bret Jimerson, BISD Superintendent.
The Great Reading Games is a reading engagement competition. It is designed to motivate struggling and non-readers, such as those with dyslexia or a visual impairment to read for more than 20 minutes each day. As students read and learn through human-read audiobooks, they get excited about reading and begin to improve their reading comprehension, fluency, critical thinking and vocabulary skills to become more confident learners.
Combined, students read 134,434 pages in seven weeks through audiobooks. Students read textbooks, non-fiction or literature, and downloaded the books directly to their tablets, computers, smartphones, Chromebooks and other devices.
“As we can see by the total number of pages read, our students connected with their stories and went to great lengths to read as much as possible,” Dr. Lucretia Gartrell, BISD Executive Director of Special Services said. “BISD’s 1:1 technology made it possible, as students were able to read on their Chromebooks before and after school, and at home.”
“Educators and schools involved in the Learning Ally Great Reading Games are true champions for students and readers across the country,” said Terrie Noland, Learning Ally National Director of Educator Engagement. “Because they ensure all readers have access to grade-level books and helping struggling readers to love books in the process, they build a positive culture of reading transforming students into confident, lifelong learners who can succeed in the workforce and in society.”