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SHIRLEY — The success of the Books and Beyond program was measured by the large number of books read by the students at an awards assembly held at the Lura A. White School.

Students in grades one through four accepted the reading challenge at the outset of the school year.

“It is always a pleasure to award these badges,” librarian Kathryn Lyon said at the June 15 event.

Lyon congratulated all of the students for their effort.

In total, first- through third-grade students read a documented 22,185 books. Fourth-grade reading was calculated by the number of pages read, which totaled 194,447.

Of the 330 participating students, 287 earned gold medals strung with blue ribbon purchased by the school library.

Several students were recognized for reading a record number of books during the course of the year.

First-graders Jennifer McGrath and Sierra Heppler each read 255 books.

Second-grade student Shay Carnevale read 330 books.

In the third grade, Ashley Hyde read 270 books.

Fourth-grader Shawn McGrath set the year’s record, having read 14,776 pages.

The challenge didn’t stop with the students either. Several parents, teachers and members of the community also accepted the challenge.

Lyon commended the adults who participated in the program calling upon them to receive the gold medals as well.

Students in the audience expressed their excitement, applauding their fellow classmates as they received the awards.

Congratulations were in order for the students’ outstanding performance, Lyon said.

In addition, Lyon thanked the PTA, which she said “recognized the value of this program.”

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