Second Graders Exceed Governor’s Reading Challenge Goal

In January, Governor Terry Branstad spoke to Fort Dodge second graders about reading through an online video-conferencing session. The Governor challenged all second graders to read 2,015 books by March 2 (Read Across America Day). We are happy to report that we have reached that goal and exceeded it! They read 2,620 books in all.

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2015 JOY and Spirit All-State Cheer Scholarship Winner Named

Makenzie Haag of Garner-Hayfield-Ventura has been named the 2015 JOY and Spirit All-State Cheer Scholarship winner.

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Emily Joy Averill Foundation

The Emily JOY Averill Foundation was established to remember Emily JOY Averill with JOY by continuing to promote her aspirations for education, early childhood literacy, work ethic, loyalty, and the JOY of life. The Foundation has several approaches to promoting JOY in Emily’s memory:

    • JOY of Reading, a unique initiative to motivate children to find JOY in reading and lead them on a path of educational success
    • scholarships for graduating seniors in high school
    • support of cheerleading programs/organizations that were a big part of Emily’s life


Joy of Reading

Inspired by Emily’s gift of connecting with children, JOY of Reading was developed. She was a volunteer in a second grade classroom as a senior at St. Edmond High School. She often read to the children and encouraged them to explore new books and read for enjoyment.

JOY of Reading’s objective is to inspire kids to love reading. In November of 2012, the foundation gave every second grader in Fort Dodge the book, Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. This book is a wonderful example of teaching kids to behave in a positive manner every day by expressing kindness, appreciation, and love. Over 350 books were distributed in the Fort Dodge area schools.

Looking forward, the foundation has plans to encourage children to read and improve literacy skills. The Foundation partners with the Fort Dodge Public Library, United Way, Fort Dodge Public Schools, St. Edmond, St. Paul, Community Christian, and other avenues of literacy development.

We are committed to enhancing the reading enjoyment and skills of children to make a difference in their lives.