Harrison County Middle School has offered the Reading Counts Program in seventh grade for 12 years under the direction of Tammy Bunch and Tamara King.
Reading Counts is designed to encourage student reading at the middle school level.
Throughout the school year, students read books and take comprehension tests on the computer. Books are assigned a point value based on reading level. The higher the reading level, the more points the book is worth. Each nine weeks, the top 13 students with the highest points are recognized and their photo appears in the Democrat.
Over the course of the school year, every student in the seventh grade will read at least 12 books. Some of the top readers can read more than 65 books.
At the end of the year, the students with the highest points attend a field trip to Joseph Beth Book Sellers with the school librarian to choose new books for the library.
All students in seventh grade participate in the annual Reading Counts Auction.
The points that the students have accrued throughout the school year become mock money that the students can use to purchase items such as books, sports equipment, games, dvds, candy, etc.
Items for the auction are purchased from money collected at school dances and donation from various local businesses.
Over the years some of our sponsors have included: Big Bite Bates, Biancke’s, Leono’s, Rite Aid, Ken’s, Horn’s Auction, Walmart, Ewalt’s Grocery, Cozy Cottage, The Christian Bookstore, Main Cuts and Vanhooks Hardware.
For the last 11 years, Shawn Combs has volunteered his time to auction off the hundreds of items. He recently began a career as a professional fisherman.
This year, as a suprise, his sponsor Big Bite Baits donated fishing equipment, hats, and t-shirts to two lucky students. In addition, Shawn volunteered to take the two students on a four-hour fishing trip. The winners of the fishing package were Tamara Lunsford and Cassie Menard.