Mountaineer Readers Celebrated at App State Football Game on November 4

Mountaineer Readers were recognized for their reading achievements during Appalachian State University’s Education Day football game on Saturday, November 4, 2023.

The Mountaineer Readers initiative began in the fall of 2007 as a partnership between the Reich College of Education (RCOE), the Public School Partnership (PSP), and App State Athletics with the purpose of supporting literacy in our surrounding counties. The group included students from the PSP schools in thirteen different partnering Public School Units (PSUs).

The PSP provides a beneficial collaboration between App State, RCOE, and P-12 public schools in Northwest North Carolina. It includes schools and school districts from the following areas: Academy at Elkin, Academy at Middlefork, Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Elkin City Schools, Hickory Public Schools, McDowell, Mount Airy City Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools, North Carolina School for the Deaf, North Carolina School of Science and Math, Watauga, Wilkes, and Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Making Connections

In addition to attending the football game, the top readers were treated to a virtual gathering via Zoom, where they met with student athletes and Dr. Betsy Rosenbalm, director of the RCOE Public School Partnership.  

Everyone shared their favorite books and school subjects. The readers also had the opportunity to ask questions of the App State students about being a student-athlete.

“We are so honored to bring these hard-working students and their families to our campus each year to celebrate their love for reading,” said Rosenbalm. “Our App State student athletes and RCOE staff love engaging with these students and welcoming them to the high country, as well!” 

“We will enjoy bringing all 2023 Mountaineer Summer Reader participants to an App State baseball game in the spring of 2024, as well,” she added. “In this program, everyone benefits!”

The overall top readers were:

  • From the Academy at Elkin:
    • Grade 1-2: Harper Richardson
    • Grade 3-4: Sadie Sparks
  • From the Academy At Middle Fork:
    • Grade 1-2: Tralan Crawford
    • Grade 3-4: Danett Hernandez
    • Grade 5: Ally Andersen
  • From Alexander County:
    • Grade 1-2: Ace Atwood
    • Grade 3-4: Macey Walker
    • Grade 5: Maleaha Lewis
  • From Alleghany County:
    • Grade 1-2: Toban Ambler
    • Grade 3-4: Aaliyah Ramirez
    • Grade 5: Caleb Wagner
  • From Ashe County
    • Grade 1-2: Charlotte Keziah
    • Grade 3-4: Sabe Douglas
    • Grade 5: Laylen Hayes
  • From Avery County:
    • Grade 1-2: Corbin Bledsoe
    • Grade 3-4: Charlotte Nidiffer
    • Grade 5: Eliana Hitechew
  • From Burke County:
    • Grade 1-2: Finley Stephens
    • Grade 3-4: Stella Jerez-Munoz
    • Grade 5: Lydia Bjorlie
  • From Caldwell County:
    • Grade 1-2: Dixon Clonch
    • Grade 3-4: Brantley Nichols
    • Grade 5: Emmett Nichols
  • From Catawba County:
    • Grade 1-2: Jaxon Welner
  • From Elkin City Schools:
    • Grade 1-2: Emma Stanley
    • Grade 3-4: Joseph Vences
    • Grade 5: Joeziah Miller
  • From Newton-Conover City Schools:
    • Grade 3-4: Vincent Freeland
    • Grade 5: Avery Rogers
  • From Watauga County:
    • Grade 1-2: Logan Blanks and Luke Hawes
    • Grade 3-4: Caleb Hawes
    • Grade 5: Harper Nichols
  • From Wilkes County:
    • Grade 1-2: Grayson Hodge
    • Grade 3-4: Allie Hodge
    • Grade 5: Vaughn Nichols

At the game, students received a pencil pouch of school supplies and goodies. For many of these students, it was their first college football game - for others, their first visit to a college campus. The game day weather was perfect fall football weather, and all had a great time!

About Mountaineer Readers

For 16 years, the Mountaineer Readers initiative has encouraged and celebrated reading at area schools. 

This year, participating students read books of their choosing during the summer months and recorded their reading on a log provided by App State Athletics. Students then turned the log in to their school’s media center coordinator the first week of school.

RCOE processed a tally sheet from each school and announced the top readers in grades 1-2, 3-4, and 5 in each county. These top readers were recognized at App State's annual Education Day football game. 

In addition to the recognition of the top readers, the top school with the most pages read was App State Academy at Middle Fork. They will receive an App State SWAG basket, a customized school-specific videofeaturing App State coaches and student-athletes, and a Certificate of Achievement for presentation at the school level. Following the Academy at Middle Fork, other top schools were Miller’s Creek Elementary School (Wilkes County), Valle Crucis Elementary School (Watauga County), Wittenburg Elementary School (Alexander County), Crossnore Elementary School (Avery County), and Westwood Elementary School (Ashe County). All top schools will receive a special video message from the App State student-athletes. 

The top two classrooms were Kaitlyn Marshall’s fifth grade classroom at the Academy at Middle Fork and Jennifer Crouse’s third grade classroom at Mountainview Elementary School (Wilkes County). These classrooms will receive either a pizza or ice cream party.

All participants and their school library media coordinators will receive App State branded treats in the mail, as well as a free voucher for an App State Baseball game in the spring of 2024.

Mountaineer Readers on the Jumbotron
Published: Nov 7, 2023 11:27am