Hancock County School Honored For Reaching Reading Goals

It was a proud day for all 117 students at Charles B. Murphy as each child took home a medal of honor.

First Grader Brittney Palode knew why. "Different classes they read lots of books and we're the biggest winner."

Students placed first place in state in a community reading challenge. They say everyone did their best to be the best.

"I think we all worked real hard and we all tried to do this and we wanted so bad to be the number one," said fifth grader Shelby Carver. "We finally achieved our goals to be number one."

Educators say they're not only proud of the children's drive to the top, but they're appreciative of the people who helped to get them here.

Jeanne Brooks is the school librarian.

"Many of the things on their passports they had to fill in were things that had to be done with their families," she said. "They were not things that were done at school, so it was a great experience to know that I had everybody behind us."

Sheriff Steve Garber was one of many community members who took the time to share a book.

"They really feel like somebody special to know that you're gonna sit here and read to them, and some of them actually read back to me."

Tiffany Wake liked having people come in to read to the students.

"You get so proud that you're loved by somebody and you're not just a boring old child that everybody hates."

The story of how Charles B. Murphy took first place in the "Reading Is Fundamental" reminds some people of another story.

"It's kind of like 'The Little Engine That Could'," said Brooks. "We made it. We did it and it didn't come easy. I wasn't sure were going to be able to do it, but next year you'll be back because we are gonna be the national winner."

For winning first place Charles B. Murphy also received a $200 award which the school librarian says will be used to buy each child a book.