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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A lot of time on the books

Friday, February 29, 2008

Clay City Elementary School fifth-grade reading MVP Kiersten Mann stands with her trophy with mom LeeAnn Mann (left) and teacher Joanie Mitchell. Melinda Quasius Photo.
Clay City Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Joanie Mitchell began the Super Bowl of Reading with her class 16 years ago.

This year, although the challenge extended to all fifth-grade classes, the MVP was a student in her class.

For every hour of reading outside of school during the first semester, students earned a "touchdown" for their class. Kiersten Mann took the challenge and ran.

Mann compiled 154 hours of reading outside of school, earning the win for Mitchell's class and the MVP trophy for herself.

"I didn't even know I'd even get a big trophy," Mann said.

Mann, who aspires to become a doctor, enjoys reading more than watching television. She said, even though she was the touchdown champ, "football doesn't really intrigue me, watching people hurting each other."

When the challenge began, Mann would read two hours a night. After realizing her class was ahead, she slowed down her pace to an average of an hour a night.

"It took a lot of perseverance. A lot of kids started out gung-ho, but Kiersten stuck with it," Mitchell said.

The next largest total for an individual was 81 hours of reading.

Mann does not expect to stop enjoying books now the class has moved on.

Her mother, LeeAnn, is currently reading, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" to her.

When not spellbound by a novel, the fiction-fan likes playing basketball with her dad and brother and writing stories herself.

"I like making up stories, and it helps if you've read a lot of books," Mann said.

Hopefully, Mann's MVP performance will inspire other kids to score reading touchdowns.

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