Elementary teachers honored

·2 min read

Nov. 29—GREENSBURG — North Decatur Elementary first grade teacher Erin Buening and North Decatur Elementary second grade teacher Linda Smith have been honored as "Master Teachers" by the EPIC Master Teacher Ambassador Program.{p dir="ltr"}The online program EPIC Reading is becoming an important resource for many local teachers working with pre-K to sixth-grade reading students.

Epic! is an online children's subscription book service that is free for educators to use with their students; it offers immediate access to more than 25,000 illustrated books and chapter books for young children.

In the past, reading teachers were forced to shop for physical copies of whatever teaching materials they used, be it books, video movies or testing material. Epic allows them access to Read-to-Me books, audio books, educational videos, and educational testing materials from leading children's book publishers including HarperCollins and National Geographic. Epic! is an age-appropriate library of fiction and non-fiction books for children of preschool age up to age 12.

Elementary children may access the program on their laptop computers and are allowed to use the resources between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily.

This is the fourth year for honoring teachers and both Buening and Smith were chosen for the distinction.

Both have used Epic in their classroom for several years and speak highly of the platform.

Buening uses Epic! for guided reading instruction and for "Student's Choice" reading materials.

"The program has endless topics, reading levels, and genres for the students to choose from. I believe it is one of the most valuable assets I use with my students," said Buening, who has used the resource for more than three years. "As a first grade teacher, I use Epic! for guided reading instruction and also allow students free choice time. The program has endless topics, reading levels, and genres for the students to choose from."

Smith, who has used the resource since 2018, told the Daily News, "This class has read over 1,500 books this year and 200 hours spent reading from Epic. It's the best resource!"

Educator Relations Manager at Epic Katy Jao said, "Our ambassadors this year are highly regarded within their communities and throughout the nation. Many have received notable honors such as Teacher of the Year, and are published authors and presenters."

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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