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LeTort Elementary School students were honored Tuesday for their accomplishments in the recent Buck a Book Literacy Campaign that raised about $30,000 for the Employment Skills Center in Carlisle.

Campaign organizers presented two trophies to Principal Aaron Carmichael recognizing LeTort as having the highest participation level and the most creative campaign among the seven elementary schools involved in Buck a Book.

One hundred percent of LeTort’s 270 students were involved in the two-week drive in January where children read books for pledge money or donations that support adult literacy programs at the skills center, Buck a Book coordinator Art Kunst said.

He said volunteer judges visited all seven schools where they interviewed students, staff and faculty on their knowledge of the campaign and gauged the overall enthusiasm level by how well each building promoted the campaign with decorations and special events. The most creative campaign trophy is called the Wordy Worm Award after the campaign mascot.

The LeTort campaign raised money in three ways, Carmichael said. The school had a “Coin Wars” event where students were encouraged to bring in loose change. The message of the event was that no matter how much they are able to give, every child can make a difference in the life of someone else and in their community.

The different grade levels competed to bring in the most coins to earn a special party as a team award. The school raised $1,000 from “Coin Wars” with the fifth grade winning the competition.

This is the third year in a row that same group of students won the “Coin Wars”, Carmichael said. “They are very motivated. They definitely do their fair share.”

LeTort also raised money through pledge envelops and through a lollipop sale carnival game during lunch periods for a week where students got to earn prizes.

At $320, fifth-grader Lucas Colvin raised the most money of any student in LeTort. This qualified him to receive a top fundraiser certificate and a Kindle Fire as a prize. The fifth-grade classroom of Shannon Svitek raised the most money with $394. Other awards for LeTort students were as follows:

Sarah Montague, outstanding fundraiser certificate, $150 and over.

Cassie Diehl and Ellington Patterson, excellent fundraiser certificates, $100 and over.

C’Myiah Thomas-Hodge, Razor scooter raffle winner.

LeTort Elementary School raised $1,199 for the Buck a Book campaign. On March 3, campaign organizers plan to visit Mooreland Elementary School, which was the top fundraiser with $4,120.

At $396, Cohan Torrao raised the most money of any district student. He is a kindergartner at North Dickinson Elementary School. Asia Tucker, a fourth-grader at Bellaire Elementary School, read 92 books – the most by any student during the campaign.

Students in all seven buildings read a total of 3,612 books during the two weeks. The top three readers from each school will be honored at 10 a.m. Saturday during a readers and writers wrap-up event at Bosler Library in Carlisle.

Campaign organizers will unveil posters recognizing these top 21 readers that will be on display in the library for a year, Kunst said.

The Buck a Book campaign started late last year with an essay contest where students were encouraged to submit stories around the theme Wordy Worm Wonders. The stories were tied to the 180th anniversary of the charter of the Carlisle school district.

The top 50 essays were published in a book and each writer will have the opportunity this Saturday to read their winning entry to friends, family and the general public.

“It’s a wonderful community event,” Kunst said of Buck a Book. “These are young students reading and raising money for adult literacy programs. The employment skills center appreciates the collaboration with the Carlisle Area School District. They have been a great partner for many years.”

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Email Joseph Cress at jcress@cumberlink.com

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Education/History Reporter

History and education reporter for The Sentinel.