TIFTON - Tifton took another step down the road to Reading Capital of the World fame Tuesday as reporters from CNN visited City Hall and Charles Spencer Primary School.

The segment on how a small South Georgia town laid claim to the reading title will be aired at the discretion of various CNN stations, Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence Director Mike Brumby said.

"They saw the signs (on I-75) while they were driving back from an assignment," said Brumby.

The reporters talked with Mayor Paul Johnson and checked out the Book Nook at City Hall before heading to Charles Spencer to speak with media director Terri Nalls and Tift County School Superintendent Harold Abbott. They also talked to several Spencer students who sat nearby reading as Nalls was interviewed and filmed the RCW mascot, Ricky Reader.

Tifton and its Reading Capital activities have already been featured on CBS and NBC and written up in the Atlanta Constitution and Time magazine. Local readers earned 1 million Accelerated Reader points between 1996 and 2000 and celebrated with a citywide party at Brodie Field.

Under the AR program, students earn points for reading by taking tests over designated books. The harder the book, the more points are offered, and the more questions the student answers correctly the more points he or she receives.

The TCFEE is working to maintain the title by encouraging local readers to earn 2 million Accelerated Reader points by the end of this year. Members also hope to establish another 13 Book Nooks, quiet spots in businesses or public offices where visitors and employees can read, for a total of 50 by Dec. 31.



To contact city editor Florence Rankin, call 382-4321, ext. 209.

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