Dressed in a United States flag shirt, Greenbrier Elementary School third-grader Cambryn Johnson cast her ballot Thursday for The Raft, one of 20 books in the Georgia Children's Literature Book Awards Program.
"I liked it when the grandmother helped him draw pictures of animals on the raft," she said of the book, which was written by J. LaMarche.
Pupils from kindergarten through fifth grade are exercising their right to vote for their favorite book this week, the culmination of a yearlong, statewide program, said media specialist Paula Shuff. Media specialists throughout the state selected 20 books for the program.
"Children often get in a rut with the types of books they read, but through this program they are exposed to a wide range of literature, different types of writing and styles," Shuff said.
At Greenbrier Elementary, Lori Lewis coordinated the 40 parent volunteers who were called in to read to the pupils twice a week.
"There are funny books, books talking about slavery, a big variety kids may not chose on their own," Lewis said.
While Greenbrier Elementary School student Kristen Lewis votes, her clothes reflect
patriotism right down to her socks.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Some of the books are picture books, but fifth-graders read fiction and are encouraged to check out and read the books on their own. Shuff said when the votes are tallied statewide, there will be one picture-book winner and one fiction winner. After the children at her school voted, she entered the results on a Web site that tracks of the program.
The pupils used voting machines and punch ballots to select their favorite book. The winners will be announced at the Georgia Children's Literature Conference in April.
"The voting process itself helps them understand that as Americans every vote is a correct vote, that their vote carries some weight - it counts," Shuff said.
Second-grader Kristen Lewis just hoped her book - Ted by Tony Diterlizzi - won.
"It was funny and I liked the way the imaginary friend acted," she said.
But nine-year-old Aaron Jones voted for The Raft.
"I liked the colors of the pictures," he said. "It has some good illustrations."
For more information on the Web, visit http://www.coe.uga.edu/gachildlit/index.html
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