Joe Ward organizes the "Terisa Ward Reading Challenge" each year in memory of his wife, Terisa, a long-time teacher at Houston. Here, he speaks to students. (Submitted photo)

The “Terisa Ward Reading Challenge” concluded April 28 with an outstanding response. 

Houston Elementary School through kindergarten through fifth grades were given the task to read a book that was chosen by their teachers and given to them free. In return, each student who completed the challenge is entered into a drawing to receive gift cards to the school book fair, a Pizza Hut pizza party and Miller’s Grill gift cards for their grade level students and teachers.  Other great prizes were given away, including a Nintendo Switch Lite.


A Nintendo Switch Light with Big Brain Academy vs. Brain Game was won by Lyla Garritson.

Kindergarten-second grades, Isaiah Koch, receiving a $10 gift card; third-fifth grades, Marianne Lamontia, receiving a $25 gift card; two Leap Frog LeapReaders, Ryleigh Murray and Brantlee Messner; two A Little Wordy Tile Games, Kayden Shaver and Reagan Douglas; two E.T. Edition Speak & Spells, Zelena Hogan and Jeremiah Royer; Two BANANAGRAMS Word Games, Joey Buckner and Kanyon Smith; Upwords word game, Kylie Dillon; Scrabble word game, Serenity Gallant; Nintendo Switch Lite with Big Brain Academy Brain vs. Brain Game, Lyla Garritson. Bodee Wade of Mrs. Andrea Morgan’s class won a pizza party provided by Pizza Hut for the entire second grade level and gift cards to Miller’s Grill for their teachers, Mrs. Alicia Wilson, Mrs. Andrea Morgan and Mrs. Destiny Wilson.

Bodee Wade of Mrs. Andrea Morgan’s class who won a pizza party provided by Pizza Hut for the entire second grade and Miller’s Grill gift cards for their teachers. (Submitted photo)

Also receiving $5 gift cards for each classroom were:

Kindergarten:  Easton Beckerdite, Mrs. Copley’s class; Azaya Flores-Derrick, Ms. Curry’s class; Avigail Fisher, Mrs. Douglas’ class; and Bryan Kane, Mrs. Wildhaber’s class.

First grade:  Isabella Hill, Mrs. Neugebauer’s class; Levi Glascock, Mrs. Wallace’s class; Brynlee Huff, Ms. Wann’s class; and Ariella Jones, Mrs. Williams’ class.

Second grade:  Luke Walker, Mrs. Morgan’s class; Kipp Copley, Mrs. A. Wilson’s class; and Addi Morgan, Mrs. D. Wilson’s class.

Third grade:  Gabrielle Koch, Mrs. Culver’s class; Parker Venn, Mrs. Frisbee’s class; and Tucker Williams, Mrs. Tottingham’s class.

Fourth grade:  Dale Harper, Mrs. Hinkle’s class; and Mason Cross, Mrs. Kincaid’s class.

Fifth grade:  Emille Nunnery, Ms. Adkins’ class; and Brylee Neugebauer, Mrs. Sandberg’s class.

The pre-school classrooms of Mrs. Sutton, Ms. Thomas, Ms. Hicks, Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Story each received a 3-in-1 Pop-Up & Play letter and number activity game set.

The “Terisa Ward Reading Challange” is an annual event with the goal of helping the children of this community become great readers and have a successful future.  The books are purchased through the generous donations given by individuals and businesses.

If you would like to donate to the Terisa Ward Reading Challenge you can contact Joe Ward at 417-349-1173.

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