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Johnnie Kelly, 11, receiving the Virginia Wood Wonder of Reading and Writing Award at fifth-grade graduation this year. She was really excited to receive the honor.

An 11-year-old West Marion student was honored for her love of reading and writing.

At the end of the school year, Johnnie Kelly said she was shocked to find out she received the Virginia Woody Wonder of Reading and Writing Award. She was chosen out of the entire school.

“I was like ‘please let it be me’,” Kelly told The McDowell News, “and then she said it was me and I was so excited. I got a certificate and a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble.”

She used her winnings for the “Percy Jackson” series and is already on the second book. Her favorite books to read are the “Harry Potter” and “Wings of Fire” series.

“I love reading and writing,” said Kelly. “I think writing is a great way to express yourself. I like to write about myself, my family and my pets. I usually write fiction stories on my computer.”

The teacher for whom the award is named taught Kelly in kindergarten and second grade, instilling her love for the written word.

“She was my reading teacher in kindergarten and second grade,” Kelly said. “It was really sad when she retired. She was a really good teacher.”

The Virginia Woody Wonder of Reading and Writing Award was established at West Marion Elementary sixth grade graduation on June 6, 2013. The award says, “Thank you Ms. Virginia Woody for all the love, dedication and inspiration that you installed in our students throughout your many years of teaching and guiding our community.”

Johnnie Kelly is the daughter of Kristina Kelly Triplett and Bryan Triplett of Marion. She is the great-granddaughter of Billy and Judy Kelly of Old Fort.

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