Readers cast ballot for favorite SSYRA book
Posted on 04/26/2021
Table with books standing open to see covers

Students from 62 schools put their social studies learning to practice. Working with the Orange County Office of Elections and Florida Association for Media in Education, media specialists turned their media centers into voting precincts and taught students the voting process. 

A student at East Lake ES uses an iPad to cast her voteSeparated by dividers for privacy authenticity, close to 2,800 students used iPads or an approved device to cast their vote for their favorite book from the Sunshine State Young Readers Awards Program (grades 3-5 and grades 6-8) and Florida Teens Read. Using the OCOE’s online ballot system, even LaunchED@Home students had the opportunity to cast a vote.

“I loved offering this experience for our scholars. We built the excitement for this voting event since the beginning of the year. They were motivated to read all  this great literature to execute an informed decision when voting. We discussed how we need to be responsible when having our voices heard and how voting is the best way to make that  happen,”  Ivonne Gonzalez, Meadow Woods Media Specialist, said. “We are looking forward to voting again next year after reading the new Sunshine State Readers Books.”

Glenridge MS student Maleeyah Rosas distributes I Voted stickers to studentsTo complete the experience, students received the iconic “I voted” sticker as they exited the “precinct.” 

So what did they choose as their favorite book? 

Drum roll, please . . . 

In Orange County, grades 3-5 chose “Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere” by Elise Gravel; grades 6-8 chose “City Spies” by James Ponti from SSYRA and “Heroine” by Mindy McGinnis from FTR.

Statewide, students chose slightly differently. Grades 3-5 chose “Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen” by Candace Fleming as their favorite. “Gamer Squad: Attack of the Not-So-Virtual Monsters” by Kim Harrington and “Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere” by Elise Gravel placed second and third, respectively. Grades 6-8 chose “City Spies” by James Ponti as their favorite with “Deep Water” by Watt Key and “New Kid” by Jerry Craft in respective second and third places.