Friday morning, Cedar Ridge School District was presented with the Gold R.I.S.E. Community Award. This award is presented by the Department of Education to only 4 schools in the state of Arkansas. ADE’s Reading Initiative for Student Excellence, or R.I.S.E. Arkansas program, encourages reading beyond just the classroom and sets a goal to create communities and schools that promote a culture of reading for residents of all ages. To be eligible for the recognition, schools and communities submitted a letter of commitment, developed an action plan, and provided a portfolio that showed evidence of implementation throughout the year. During this time, the department provided guidance, resources, and support for engaging the community in planned reading activities. Applications were then scored using a rubric.
This recognition is a testament to the dedication of the entire school community - the exceptional teachers, talented students, and supportive parents and community members. It highlights the remarkable strides they have made in fostering a culture of reading within the school and broader community.
The District started several projects and implemented new programs to help them receive this award, including the Cedar Ridge Book Bus that traveled the district and visited with the community this past summer, the new Book Vending Machine that is available to all elementary students, the Royal Reader program that brings guest readers to the elementary each semester, book giveaways at several events with hundreds of books being placed in children's hands to take home, and so much more.
Photo, from L to R: Amy Counts (Arkansas Dept of Education), Capri Bell Salaam (2023 Arkasnas Teacher of the Year), Rhea Jennings (High School Media Specialist), David Ward (Elementary ALE Teacher), Johnny Henderson (Middle School English Teacher), Tracey Owens (Superintendent), Stacy Young (Elementary Counselor), Shirl Nelson (Elementary Media Specialist), Carol Woods (Elementary G.T. Teacher), Brianna Goodman (Communications Coordinator), Abbi Limbaugh (Director of Curriculum and Instruction)