In 2012, sisters and Hall County Media Specialists, Jennifer Parker and Rebecca Hamby, both of Lula, came up with the idea for a nonprofit literacy club for schools that would involve competitions and an end-of-year conference.
Each year, the Tome Student Literacy Society releases an award list of 36 books for students in grades 4 through 12 on its website – www.tomesociety.org. These books serve as the content for student competitions during the school year, including the Reading Bowl competition. There are currently over 140 schools across the state, including many Hall County and Gainesville City schools, with Tome Society chapters.
On March 13, Parker and Hamby, along with the other Tome Society Executive Board members - Shelby Day and Ashley Walden of Habersham County - will host over 1,400 students, teachers, and parents from around the state at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville Campus for the 7th Annual TomeCon conference.
This event is the culmination of student activities during the school year. The top four Reading Bowl teams from each grade level will compete face-to-face to determine a state champion. Other students will spend the day attending concurrent sessions on different aspects of creative writing led by 18 different authors in person or via Google Hangouts. Students also have the choice to attend sessions with other speakers on topics such as financial literacy, art, comics, technology, music, nature, engineering, and even Star Wars! Schools and students will receive awards for their competition entries at the event, as well.