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Gov. Pat McCrory recognizes Sun Valley Elementary students

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory congratulates students at Sun Valley Elementary School for logging 6,042,663 minutes reading over the summer, and being second in the nation for such a feat.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory paid a special visit to the staff and students at Sun Valley Elementary School yesterday (June 2, 2014) congratulating them for being recognized on a state and national level for the amount of time students read over the summer months.

Sun Valley Elementary School earned recognition through the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge by logging 2.56 million minutes reading. The school achieved first place in the state and second place in the world during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.

“Out of 53 countries, Sun Valley Elementary was second in the world with their summer reading minutes,” said Hannah Murr, a Scholastic Book Fairs representative.

The school is featured in the Scholastic Book of World Records 2013 for the number of minutes they logged reading. Jonita Broel, with Scholastic Book Fairs, said the competition encourages summer reading.

“We know how important it is for students to continue reading over the summer,” Broel said. “It’s a wonderful program for every child to participate in. It’s kid friendly, and the schools tell us they see the payoff when they’re doing their testing.”

Sun Valley Elementary principal Terri Cooper said the governor’s visit was spearheaded by one of her parents. “Our school is certainly deserving of this honor, but it would not have occurred if it were not for Scott & Sandra Wilson, the parents of Katelyn and Kiersten. The Wilsons have been working for months on securing this visit for our school. They have talked endlessly to government officials about how wonderful the faculty/staff and students are at SVES and had the visit scheduled.”

Sandra Wilson, the school’s PTO president, sent a letter to Gov. McCrory in October of 2013 requesting a visit to her school. “I asked if he would be willing to come out and acknowledge our school for the excellence they’ve done in this summer reading challenge. We’ve been second in the world for two years in a row.”

When the governor accepted her invitation, Wilson said she was thrilled. “I was super excited to hear he was coming. It was awesome for him to acknowledge Sun Valley Elementary School for being in the Guinness Book of World Records for two years in a row. The students have worked so hard.”

UCPS Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis spoke to the students about this great accomplishment and thanked parents for encouraging their children to read.

“An education is something that no one can take away from any of us, ever,” Ellis said. “It is so important that we give our children the absolute best start in life that is humanly possible.”

When Gov. McCrory arrived at the school, his first order of business was to read to kindergarten students in Stephanie Doig’s class. As the reading ambassador for the school, the governor’s wife, First Lady Ann McCrory, donated 100 books to the school in honor of the student achievement.

“You have to know how to read to be good at everything for the rest of your life,” McCrory said to students.

The school will be shooting for Number One in the world this summer. “What are we going to be after this summer?” Ellis asked the students, who all chanted simultaneously, “ NUMBER ONE!”


Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Jun 03, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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