Engineering Better Readers--
Briceville style

Kick-off assembly
Friday, 8 January 2016

Sponsored by:

Schnabel Engineering



National EBR Director Patty Bachner
traveled from Washington, DC
to inspire students to read

And the crowd goes wild!!!!

What does Briceville have in common with Denver, Houston, and Newark?  They are the only communities in the Nation that have elementary schools participating in the Engineering Better Readers (EBR) program. 

What is EBR’s goal?  To inspire students to become avid readers at a young age.

Here’s how it works.  Students read books and pass comprehension tests, for which they are awarded points.  Students save their points to purchase prizes, which include Xbox, Play Station 4, tablets, Nintendo DS, iPods, Legos Minecraft, scooters, and balls. 

Briceville students learned about the program at a kick-off assembly by participating in activities ranging from oral history to a YouTube “Kid Snippet” presentation.  David R. Thomas time-traveled from Coal Creek's past to teach students about Coal Creek history, which is now part of the state's education curriculum.  In the process, he gave students a lesson on Victorian-era etiquette.  “Do you know why every man and boy is wearing a hat in this photo from 1891?  It’s because we’re shy when speaking to ladies.  With a tip of a hat, we can express our feelings to a lady without ever having to say a word.”   


Students are ready and eager to read!!!

View the KIDS SNIPPET on YouTube at:

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank spoke to the students

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank told about her days in college when she learned that the smartest students are the ones who are not afraid to ask questions.  She then said, “I love you and God has a plan for each and every one of you.  Do you know what you want to be?”  Students responded in turn with, “engineer, doctor, teacher, vet…”

Director of Anderson County Schools Larry Foster quizzed students about their comprehension of the oral history lesson by asking, “Did Mr. Thomas use his hat to keep his head warm or to brush away flies?”  One student replied, “No, he used it to get the woman.”  As Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit”… indeed!

After opening the curtain to display the prizes students can earn, first-grade teacher Melissa Fleming expanded on Director Foster’s and Mayor Frank’s themes by saying, “Reading gives you knowledge, which is something nobody can take away from you.  Once you have knowledge, you can do anything in the world you want to do and be successful.  That’s what we want from you.” 


Patty Bachner from the national Engineering Better Readers program observed how she came all the way from Washington D.C. because Briceville School is special.  When asked what they intended to do after the assembly, students yelled, “READ.”

Fred, Sumner and Camille Brown then shared stories about reading from three generations of the Brown family.  Fred ended by saying, “It makes my heart fly to see so many faces and beautiful smiles of students who love reading.”

After the assembly, Ms. Fleming said, “I wish you could have seen the kids the rest of the day! Everywhere you looked you saw a kid with a book in their hand!”





Anderson County's Director of Schools Larry Foster
Reading provides "KIP" -- Knowledge, Information & Pleasure!



Barry Thacker, PE, portrayed mining engineer David R. Thomas who was born in Carmarthen, South Wales, in 1839.  He came to Coal Creek after the American Civil War, but lost his job to convict labor in 1877. Thomas was a community leader of miners during the Coal Creek War and served on rescue crews at the Fraterville and Cross Mountain mine explosions. He donated his father’s collection of Welsh language books to Harvard University in 1915, which served as references for the recent book, “The Welsh of Tennessee” by Dr. Eirug Davies of Harvard University.

The stage curtains were opened and the students
were able to see a sampling of the cool prizes
they can "purchase" with the points they
earn by reading books!

Carol Moore, Kippie Leinart, Barry Thacker
and Melissa Fleming

Briceville teacher Melissa Fleming
explains the reading program to the students

Sumner Brown and her daughter Camille shared their love
of reading with the students

Carol Moore, Bobby McCoy, Barry Thacker, Camille Brown,
Patty Bachner, Sumner Brown and Fred Brown


Setting up the night before the event --
Carol Moore and Barry Thacker
with a few of the fabulous Briceville School staff. 
We thank them SO MUCH for allowing us
to be part of their school!

Students got right to work on earning their reading points, as witnessed
in the hallways after the kick-off meeting!


Noah says he is gonna win a Xbox ??  Is it an incentive to read?"

“What age is this for?  Can my daughter participate?!"

Susan Polter:  “So grateful for the opportunities being provided for our BES students! I see a 'spark'
here and hope it develops into a blazing fire of excited and improving readers! Thank you.

Jeanie Robinson Ahrens:  “More wonderful works for B'ville kids. God Bless Barry and Carol.





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