The young students, all members of Connie Bancroft’s class at Prospect Elementary School, compiled original stories and submitted the articles to the Tennessee Reading Council competition.
The 11 students recognized, and their stories, included:
Destiny Crawley (“My Son and I”), Kaylee Parker (“Mystery Monsters”), Emma Bentley (“The Snowman Named Edgar”), Anna Suits (“The Raccoon in the Trash Can”), Sarah Anderson (“Home on the Farm”), and Brooke Kilgore (“Once I Saw a Red Bird”).
Cara-Lynn Chancey (“The Hot Air Balloon”), Tyler Murray (“The Little Red Bird”), Blake Parker (“The Life of a Raccoon”), Naudia Hooks (“Little Bed Betty”), and Zach Vallejos (“Snow in July”).
Red Clay Reading Council is affiliated with the Tennessee Reading Association and the International Reading Association. It is composed of educators from Bradley County and Cleveland school districts, as well as Lee University.
Any students in the two local school districts were eligible to submit their books in the Celebrate Literacy event, which is held each year across the state. The submissions were through their teacher and the Red Clay Council. Red Clay judges reviewed the books and forwarded them to state judges.
The state judges critiqued the books and attached their evaluations to determine awards. The awards were presented at the recent Red Clay Council meeting.
Each local council can submit up to 14 books to the state for evaluation. Participating teachers and students do not have to be members of the Tennessee Reading Association, but all entries must be screened by local councils and accompanied by an official entry blank.
Categories for the entries include original tales, personal narratives, fables, allegories, parables, legends, biographical sketches and tall tales. Poetry is not included, but narrative verse may rhyme.
Books were judged on creativity and originality; grammar, mechanics and spelling; sentence development, sensory detail and word choice; outer appearance and inner appearance; and the decisions of the judges is final.
The state reading association presents gold, silver, bronze and honorable-mention awards. In the case of multiple authorships, one award is given to each student.
The books were to be durably, securely and neatly bound. Book covers and bindings were evaluated on overall attractiveness, quality, neatness and use of binding materials. Stories can be typed or handwritten.
Artwork was optional, as well as illustrations, photographs and computer-generated or imported visuals. All of the work must have been completed by the author.
Laura Anderson of Lee University coordinated the local competition for the Red Clay Council, while Nancy Bertrand and Kathryn Patullo were the state chairpersons.
All of the books submitted statewide were judged on organization and development of the story; creative originality; age-appropriate grammar, mechanics and spelling; age-appropriate development, sensory detail and word choice; outer appearance; and inner format and appearance.