I can honestly say that this time of year is my favorite. Yes, partly because winter is coming to a close, but more so because this is when my colleagues and I get to select the Scholastic All-Stars. This year, much like past years, we had some incredible nominations, making it difficult to pick just 12 winners. From the students who moved to America not knowing any English to the child who has overcome challenges at home, these heart warming stories show the number of obstacles students face today. Now more than ever, with the Common Core State Standard requiring students to interpret and evaluate complex texts, it is critical for student to be proficient readers to succeed in school and life. The 2013 All-Star Award winners are a reminder that it is never too late to turn your life around and become a successful student. With the help of their dedicated teachers and the reading intervention programs READ 180 and System 44 these 12 students are truly All-Stars! And the winners are (drum roll please) The 2013 READ 180 All-Star Award winners are: High School Oksana Clay, Age: 16 Grade: 10 Souhegan High School, Amherst, NH Jake Elliott, Age: 17 Grade: 11 Liberty High School, Liberty, MO Yvette Uwiragiye, Age: 19 Grade: 12 Burlington High School, Burlington, VT Middle School Keyon Budd, Age: 13 Grade: 8 John Poole Middle School, Poolesville, MD Allyson Summerfield, Age: 14 Grade: 8 West Virginia Childrens Home School, Elkins, WV Sequoyah Tonihka, Age: 14 Grade: 8 Waubun High School, Waubun, MN Elementary School Karen Alvarado, Age: 9 Grade: 4 West Central Elementary School, Joplin, MO Emmett Infante, Age: 11 Grade: 6 Doyle Elementary School, Doylestown, PA Keily Ortiz, Age: 10 Grade: 4 Dane Barse Elementary School, Vineland, NJ The 2013 System 44 All-Star Award winners are: Nazem Elakesh, Age: 11 Grade: 5 Lisa J. Mails Elementary School, Murrieta, CA Daniel Guerrero, Age: 11 Grade: 4 Beacon Hill Elementary School, San Antonio, TX Eduardo Lopez Soriano, Age: 10 Grade: 5 Lakewood School, Carpentersville, IL For additional information about Scholastic All-Stars, please visit our media room.