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NCSS Announces Winners of Literacy Days Competitions
Literacy Days
Heard-Mixon Elementary School fifth-grader, Alainah Jackson, recites the poem, “King Hugo’s Huge Ego,” at the Newton County School System Literacy Days Competition. Alainah was the fifth-grade champion and will now represent Newton County School System at the regional competition. - photo by Staff Report

COVINGTON, Ga. - The Newton County School System is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 District Literacy Days Recitation, Drama, Read Aloud, and Ready Writing competitions. 

NCSS Elementary and middle schools held poetry competitions at their school and sent their grade level winners to participate in the district’s recitation contest. Competitors were judged on a number of criteria in the poetry recitation contest, including stage presence, articulation, interpretation, memory and accuracy, and difficulty of the piece. 


Kindergarten: Merrin Bice, Rocky Plains Elementary, “Snowball”

1st Grade: Reese Arnold, Middle Ridge Elementary, “I Am Sombody”

2nd Grade: Matthew Camba, Heard-Mixon Elementary, “Sick”

3rd Grade: Jordan Bouchard, Porterdale Elementary, “The Pigs”

4th Grade: Madeline Jones, Mansfield Elementary, “Mrs. Stein”

5th Grade: Alainah Jackson, Heard-Mixon Elementary, “King Hugo’s Huge Ego”

6th Grade: Amaya Williams, Newton County Theme School, “Broken People”

7th Grade: Aurora Gray, Veterans Memorial Middle, “If You Would Listen”

8th Grade: Tia Perry, Newton County Theme School, “To This Day”


In the Ready Writing competition, school-level champions were given a writing prompt and one hour to complete their essays. Students are scored on a rubric of six traits: ideas and content; organization; voice; word choice; sentence fluency; and conventions. 

3rd Grade: Ethan Armendariz, South Salem Elementary, “Neil Armstrong”

4th Grade: Emerson Fry, Mansfield Elementary, “What Would I Do to Change the World”

5th Grade: Annalie Parker, Oak Hill Elementary, “My Most Memorable Day”

6th Grade: Shaniya DeSears, Veterans Memorial Middle, “Less Time in Front of the TV”

7th Grade: Jaimoni Parker, Newton County Theme School, “New Class”

8th Grade: Brianna Francis McClain, Liberty Middle, “Space Exploration”


Students in kindergarten through second grade participated in the Read Aloud of Best Piece Contest in which students, with the teacher’s assistance, choose a piece from the student’s collected writings to read aloud to the judges. They were scored on topic, words, order, sentences and articulation.

Kindergarten: Karter Williams, Oak Hill Elementary, “I Am Special”

1st Grade: Malachi Adesina, Middle Ridge Elementary, “When I Grow Up: Pediatrician”

2nd Grade: Jasmine Edwards, Porterdale Elementary, “If I Were Given Three Wishes”


Rocky Plains Elementary School’s Drama Team won first place in the K-2 elementary division with their presentation of, “The Lion and the Mouse.” Team members included: Ean Bice, Zy’liyah Chapman, Azul Garcia, Peyton Gallops, Maya Guillory, and Khollen Ward. 

Porterdale Elementary School’s Drama Team took first place in the Grade 3-5 Drama competition with their play, “The Frog Prince Continued.” Team members included: Aracelyse Felix, Kiara Flowers, Mackenzie Hardwick, Brandon Perez, and Quesean Tanner. 

At the Middle School level, Veterans Memorial Middle School earned the first place trophy for their presentation, “A Twisted Wizard of Oz.”  Team members included: Kennedy Johnson, Ayanna Wilson, Alinna Aiken, Kiersten Foster, Jade Taylor, Kayla Pettigrew, Jayla Dennis, and Lydia Odige. 

Winners in all categories will now represent Newton County School System at the regional competition at Griffin RESA in February, 2018. 

“The Literacy Days Competition provides students with the opportunity to perform and be recognized for their talents through the celebration of the arts,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “I am proud of each and every one of our participants as it takes a tremendous amount of talent and commitment to participate in this type of competition. They represented their schools very well. I was impressed by the performances I saw and I know the judges at the regional competition will be, too.  In addition to our poetry recitation, read aloud, and drama team winners, our district ready writing winners are also very talented. I know Newton County School System will be well represented at the Griffin RESA Regional Literacy Days Festival.”