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TFS showcases literacy at recent Tome Society conference


Photo: Shelby Day/Submitted

Sophomore Alex Zandstra of Heiskell, Tenn., senior William Cantrell of Cleveland and senior Rachel Richardson show off their creation, a unicorn creature named Douglas, during the TomeCon Maker Challenge. In a Maker Challenge, groups of students are given a packet with the same materials and are given 15 minutes to create something. The exercise encourages teamwork, creativity and problem solving. Students then share their creations with the rest of the groups. While there is always friendly competition, there are no winners or losers, only “makers”. 



Tome Society chapter members from across Georgia gathered on March 11 to celebrate a year’s worth of chapter activities and to compete with other members in creative, brain-bending ways.

Joining more than 750 enthusiastic fans of all-things Tome-related, the Tallulah Falls School Tome societies attended the 4th annual TomeCon event, with both middle and high school students, faculty advisors and volunteers traveling to the Gainesville Campus of the University of North Georgia for the day-long event.

In its fourth year, members of the upper school TFS chapter were determined to walk away with a couple of awards, according to Annette Cochran, TFS technology teacher.

“To our surprise we did not just walk away with a little, we racked up and represented TFS well at the event,” Cochran said. “And to top off the day, TFS won the coveted Chapter of the Year award [high school].”

TFS teacher Kim McClurg serves as the middle school faculty advisor/chapter leader.

“I can't tell you what a great time our kids had at TomeCon,” McClurg said. “Dianne Salerni, author of The Eighth Day, was the keynote speaker and students attended writing sessions with Salerni and with other authors of books included on the reading list this year. Our students also showed their creativity in art, worked with Lego robots, shopped the Barnes and Noble table, obtained autographs of authors and learned new creative things to do on their phones.”

Awards were presented as follows at the high school level:  Tau Omicron Mu Epsilon Honor Society:  Rachel Richardson; It list Book Trailer: Sydney Porter and Alfie Barnor, third place; It list Book Review Blog Article: Madeline McClurg, first place; It list Promotional Book Flyer: Rachel Richardson, second place; It list Poetry: Madeline McClurg, third place; Infographic: Shyam Shukla, second place; Print Video: Brenda Cochran, second place, Sola Sofela first place; App Creation: Mark Faingold and Shyam Shukla, first place; It List Book Talk: Zoe Martin, third place; Current Issues and Portfolio: Shyam Shukla, first place; Library Video Commercial: Rachel Richardson, Brenda Cochran and Shanna Lewallen, first place; Chapter Digital Scrapbook: Clara Madigan, third place.

Awards were presented as follows at the middle school level: It List Book Trailer: Keelie Parks, first place; Fan Art: Trevor Bramlett, second place; Book Review Vlog: Colton Augustine and Nafis Rahman, first place; Tome Worthy Nomination: Cecily Tucker, first place; T-shirt design: Luke Atwood and Maredith Anderson, second place. The TFS middle school also placed third in the Chapter of the Year competition.

Tome Society is now an official 501(c)3 nonprofit with a trademarked logo, according to Shelby Day, TFS media specialist and founding member of the organization.

There are now a total of 26 competitions for students in grades 4-5 (Club Tome), grades 6-8 (Jr. Tome), and grades 9-12 (Tome Society).  In addition to Day, TFS teacher Ashley Walden serves on the board for Tome.  

Day was especially pleased to see TFS expand its participation by adding the middle school chapter this year.

“It is sometimes a daunting task to keep it running as three out of the four board members are mothers to six children under the age of 9,” Day said. “But it is something we feel passionate about. There are so many kids who need a place to fit in. Tome Society offers a wide umbrella for students who love reading, but also for students interested in computer science, anime and creative writing.  We try to offer a little something for everyone."

Tome Society now includes an advisory committee that consists of six regular volunteers in addition to the four original Board members.  For more information or to offer your volunteer services, visit or email