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Feb. 17, 2010

University of South Carolina women’s basketball celebrated the winners of its “Read with the Gamecocks” program at halftime of Sunday’s game against Arkansas, wrapping up the three-phase program for the 2009-10 season. Over the course of the program, which began in September this season, 12,046 elementary school children from 249 schools read a total of 6.1 million pages.

On Sunday, the Gamecocks recognized Meadowfield Elementary as the top overall school in the program. The top overall male student was Teddy Walker from Foster Park Elementary, and the top female reader was Hope Homa from Bluffton Early Childhood Center. The individual grade winners were: Walker (fifth grade), Alexis Tomlin (fourth grade; Bluffton Elementary), Hannah Homa (third grade; Bluffton Elementary), John Croom (second grade; Meadowfield), Hope Homa (first grade; Bluffton Early Childhood Center) and Sarahlyn Roy (kindergarten; Meadowfield).

For the first time in the 11 years that the program has run, students and schools were offered three different segments in which to participate, each with its own theme and comic book. The Hard Work and Perseverance phase ran Sept. 21-Oct. 2, 2009, with the participants and winners honored at the Nov. 22 game against Penn State. Of the 3,327 students that participated in the segment, Cyril B. Busbee Elementary readers registered the most pages.

The program’s second phase, Health and Nutrition, ran Dec. 14-26 with participants recognized at the Jan. 17 game against Auburn. The 3,500 students who participated in the segment read a combined two million pages with Claude A. Taylor Elementary topping the list. The final segment on Literacy and Education asked participants to chart their reading Jan. 4-15.