GES receives $20k prize for reading improvement

Published 4:37 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2018

HOOVER – The work of Greystone Elementary School teachers and students to improve reading during the 2017-18 school year has been rewarded with a substantial prize.

GES was named one of 50 schools across Alabama to receive $20,000 from the State Department of Education, and a celebration at the school was held on Wednesday, Aug. 22 with confetti, dancing and popsicles.

Following a pep rally prior to Spain Park High School’s first football game, Greystone Elementary Principal Stacey Stocks announced the recognition to a gymnasium full of students.

The improvement was the result of the work of the school’s teachers and students, and a school-wide reading challenge, Stocks said.

“We did that because reading makes you a better reader,” she said. “You have to practice.”

The announcement was met with wild cheers, and students danced to music as teachers popped confetti. Then, the students went outside to enjoy popsicles.

The school’s reading coach, Cherry Johnson, and four third grade teachers from last year (Christie Kelley, Traci Stacey, Anna Porter and Shay Higginbotham) received special recognition.

The Alabama Legislature allotted $1 million during its 2018 session to recognize and incentivize schools for third grade reading gains on the state assessment.

The money will likely come with stipulations for its use, Stocks said.

“I’m sure we will do some more things to improve our reading program,” she said.

There will be a special recognition and awards ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the ALSDE after the September Alabama State Board of Education meeting. Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama legislators, and other dignitaries will be on hand to congratulate all 50 schools.