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JPS Honors Top Readers at 2019 Summer Reading Celebration

September 20, 2019

Top Readers with JPS Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene and Summer Reading Ambassador Candace Coleman. 
Errick Greene, Kyle Johnson, Candace Coleman
Kyle Johnson, 2nd Grade, Casey Elementary
Errick Greene, Rhoda Yoder, Bruce Berry, Candace Coleman
Bruce Berry, 2nd Grade, Casey Elementary. Rhoda Yoder (2nd from left) is the principal of Casey.
Errick Greene, Jada Davis, Candace Coleman
Jada Davis, 3rd Grade, Lake Elementary
Errick Greene, Angel Bell, Candace Coleman
Angel Bell, 8th Grade, Bailey APAC Middle
Photo Gallery: 2019 Summer Reading Celebration

Jackson Public Schools held its 2019 Summer Reading Celebration Thursday, September 5 at the Mississippi Children's Museum in Jackson. The District recognized top summer readers at each grade level and the top schools based on the number of books read. Program participants for this year's celebration included Susan Garrard, President/CEO for Mississippi Children’s Museum, JPS Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene and 2019 Read On Jackson Reading Ambassador Candace Coleman, morning anchor for WJTV News Channel 12.

"For students, I want you to invest in your homework and be attentive when you are in class and when the teacher is talking," said Coleman. "For parents, continue to invest in your students by helping them with their homework, by communicating with their teachers, and by debriefing after a day of school—just listening to what they have to say about their day, that always helps. For teachers, we know that it's a tough job that you do. So, just show up in the best way that you can each day for your students. Once again, I'm proud of you all and to see my home district invest in the students here."

"How do you become a stronger reader?" asked Dr. Greene. "By reading, by practicing, by training. We are training our brains to become stronger, stronger thinkers, stronger readers. That's what you did over the summer. I know that's what you'll continue to do throughout the year and throughout life. Every day we should be doing what? Reading."

An unplanned appearance by Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and First Lady Dr. Ebony Lumumba and their two daughters was a welcome surprise. Avid proponents for children and high-quality education, the Lumumbas made brief remarks before reading celebration attendees.

"Reading can take you anywhere you want to go to in the world," said Mayor Lumumba. "Not only does a book [give you] the opportunity to broaden your horizon, those individuals who are most successful in their careers, are individuals who have a love for reading and engage with words. I want you to know how proud we are of you, and we love you."

"I'm thrilled to see so many young people who spent their summer reading," added Mrs. Lumumba. "Reading truly is a gateway to any successful venture that you will undertake. I want to applaud the parents because I know you had to listen to a lot of those stories over and over again. I'm so excited this is happening in our city."

Outstanding readers, students at each grade level who read a high volume of books, were recognized at the celebration and presented a certificate for their achievement. Top readers were presented a trophy for reading the most books among their grade-level peers districtwide. All of these high-volume readers received free admission to the museum for themselves and a family member and time to spend at the museum's interactive exhibits. Top schools received plaques that can be displayed in their trophy cases or hallways.

Top Summer Readers

Elementary Grades K–2

  • Bruce Berry, 2nd Grade, Casey Elementary (Tie/61 Books)
  • Kyle Johnson, 2nd Grade, Casey Elementary (Tie/61 Books)

Elementary Grades 3–5

  • Jada Davis, 3rd Grade, Lake Elementary (128 Books)

Middle School

  • Angel Bell, 8th Grade, Bailey APAC Middle (30 Books)
  • Marcus Stafford, 7th Grade, Bailey APAC Middle (30 Books)

High School

  • Lakeycia Booker, 12th Grade, Jim Hill High (40 Books)

Top Schools

  • Lake Elementary (3,000 Books)
  • Northwest Jackson Middle (1,681 Books)
  • Murrah High (670 Books)

Every year, Jackson Public Schools holds a kickoff spectacular in the spring and a celebration party at the end of the summer as part of the Read On Jackson Summer Reading initiative. Our aim for these programs is to raise awareness, especially for parents, of reading's connection to their children's academic success. Two important goals of Read On Jackson are to carry on the culture of reading across the city of Jackson and provide support to scholars to enhance academic gains and future life successes. Though all JPS students are required to read three books each summer, Read On Jackson encourages students to read lots of books.

The success of Read On Jackson would not be possible without our outstanding community. Jackson Public Schools acknowledges the generous support of our community partners and donors, including the Mississippi Children's Museum, the Junior League of Jackson, the Jackson Hinds Library System and many others who helped make the 2019 summer reading program a success. Additionally, we recognize the work of the Office of Teaching and Learning which oversaw the planning and implementation of the program and presented awards during the celebration.

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