Watkins Mill ES Wins Award for Reading Program

February 27, 2004
Watkins Mill Elementary School has been selected as the winner of the International Reading Association's (IRA) Exemplary Reading Program Award for the state of Maryland for 2003-2004.

Schools in every state submitted their application to the state chapter of the IRA for consideration last fall. After applications were reviewed, Watkins Mill was among a select group of schools that had thorough site visits by the Exemplary Reading Award Committee.

During the site visit, the committee had a briefing with Principal Monique Felder and other staff to allow the school to highlight special features of its school wide reading program. The committee visited classrooms, asked questions of the staff and students, and viewed student work.

The school also shared information about the many reading/language arts activities that visitors were not able to see during the visit, such as Read Across America, the Partners in Print parent education program, curriculum nights, and reading/writing conferences that staff participated in as part of the school's commitment to staff development.

After visits to all of the finalist schools, one school from each state was chosen for the award.

Watkins Mill will be presented with the state award at the State of Maryland International Reading Association Council (SoMIRAC) Bosses Breakfast March 18. SoMIRAC also will ask the school to present its program at the 2005 annual conference to help teachers and administrators from Maryland learn of programs within the state that are working effectively.

In addition, Watkins Mill will represent Maryland at the International Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada, at an awards banquet on May 2. At that event, the school will present an overview of its outstanding program to educators from around the world.

Watkins Mill will hold a reception at the school on March 19 in honor of the achievement.

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