Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

June 6, 2014

Singleton reads 3 million words

THOMASVILLE — The name Brianna, of Irish origin, means strong. That meaning truly applies to Brianna Singleton, a fifth-grader at Harper Elementary School.

Brianna is a strong student, a strong young lady and a strong reader. During the 2013-14 school year, she read more than 3,000,000 words. Harper Elementary had a special recognition of Brianna’s reading prowess.

Said Michele Sedam, Harper media specialist, “Brianna Singleton has read 3 million words this school year. Her third-grade year, she read 1 million words. That goal was intended for fourth- and fifth-graders, so Brianna was the first third-grader to achieve the milestone.

“In her fourth-grade year, she set a goal for herself to read 2 million words. She was the first fourth-grader to accomplish the goal. Of course, she reached her goal of 3 million words this year. No other child at any other elementary or middle school locally has done with Brianna has done.

“It’s an amazing feat — especially when you consider that she takes dance classes, plays two instruments, baby-sits and makes excellent grades. Brianna is a joy to teach.”  

Zondra Singleton, Harper first-grade teacher and Brianna’s mother said, “Briana set this goal for herself at the end of her fourth-grade school year. She and her grandfather have been working towards this goal diligently. He would consistently call her once or twice a month just to make sure she stayed on track. He has promised Brianna various incentives for reaching 3 million words read, and, of course, she has.

“I believe it has taken a village for Brianna to get to this point. Harper’s teachers have been wonderful. (Ms.) Sedam went out of her way to check out books for her daughter from the middle school. Brianna had friends and family members call and offer her encouragement. Her grandparents, Ronnie and Catherine Williams, come to every school event and every assembly to support her. But Brianna’s biggest cheerleader is Bria, her younger sister. Bria is always there to loudly remind Brianna ‘You can do it, you can do it!’

“It was my idea to recognize ‘Million Word Readers’ at Harper about 15 years ago as the literacy coach. We still have the tradition in place today to continuously encourage and motivate our students to read,” said Catherine, Harper principal.

Though visibly proud of what she has done, Brianna was modest

“I read every day. At the middle of the school year, I began taking tests everyday on the books I was reading. I had a lot of people who believe in me help me stay on task. I really enjoy reading. Even after I read 3 million words, I kept on reading for the fun of it.”

When Brianna isn’t reading, she enjoys playing clarinet and violin, dancing (ballet, tap, and jazz), and studying. As previously stated, the name Brianna means strong.

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