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Bristol Tennessee Schools Chosen as One of the State’s Five Model Reading Programs | Latest titles

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Thirty-six young eyes focused on Avoca Elementary School kindergarten teacher Andrea Powell on Friday as she walked through a series of sound drills as part of a course in the Reading 360 Schools program in Bristol, Tennessee.

Despite intrusions into classrooms from television cameras, politicians, public school officials and Riley, the Reading Raccoon mascot, all there to celebrate the school’s success with the program, the children of the Kindergarteners remained on task, focused on answering the questions Powell posed to them as they demonstrated how the reading program works.

Of more than 100 districts in the state recognized as Reading 360 districts, Bristol, Tennessee is one of five chosen to serve as model districts in Tennessee. Lessons taught in Bristol schools are recorded and shared with districts across the state as they work to implement the program.

“We’ve had a lot of different reading programs and this is by far the best we’ve had,” said Powell, who has taught for 21 years. “It’s definitely the strongest reading program we’ve had.”

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Powell said teachers had to reprogram their brains to stop teaching letters and start teaching sounds.

“At first it was difficult because we had moved from learning letter names to a sound-focused approach to teaching reading. So we had to retrain our brains to think about sounds, but it really took a toll. meaning if you’re watching the program because you need sounds to make words rather than letter names,” Powell said. “It’s about putting pictures with sounds. they read much earlier.

Powell said his kindergarten students are reading this year in October instead of starting to read in January or February of previous school years.

Pre-kindergarten teacher Angie Meredith explained how the program worked for her class of 4-year-olds. The 21-year-old teaching veteran said some of her children can recognize simple words, but explained that her job is to provide the foundation for reading skills before students arrive in kindergarten.

“We are honored to join the state as five model districts,” Bristol Tennessee Schools Superintendent Dr. Annette Tudor said at the ceremony honoring the teachers who make the program work in the classroom every day of school. “Obviously we have rock star teachers who are here and dedicate their hearts and every day to our students.”

Overall, Avoca Elementary students have read 29,221 books and more than 50.3 million words so far this year.

Tennessee State Senator Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, was impressed with what he saw in Avoca’s classrooms.

“I’m just amazed at how these kids reacted,” he said. “At the state level, we talk about the importance of K-3, because at that point you’re learning to read. After that, you’re reading to learn. What they get right now will determine how they do in high school and how they do in college. These are incredibly pivotal times. These teachers, their enthusiasm is incredible.