JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – You may hear about kids in rural or underserved areas reading below grade level. But students at two Jefferson County schools defied the odds during their state exam.

“Remember 15 was the magic number. Well you had a growth of 22 points on yours,” said Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods.

Students at Carver Elementary School and Louisville Academy received accolades. The fourth grade students welcomed Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods. He dropped by to celebrate their achievement from third grade; reading improvement on the Georgia Milestone.

“Just really excited for us as a state because now we have two schools in Jefferson County who are role models for those around,” Woods exclaimed.

Superintendent Woods presented each school principal with Georgia’s Literacy Leaders Banner, complete with this year’s green ribbon for Outstanding Growth, and space for future wins.

“Many awards you see is just a single year award. But we understand that reading is just that important. Each year, we need to make sure that we’re growing or we continue to grow, continue to improve,” he said.

“In our classrooms we have libraries,” Carver Elementary School Melvin Farmer told NewsChannel 6. “And I tell our teachers to make sure there are books of all different types. Books that our students would like to read and enjoy reading.”

In addition to access, Principal Melvin Farmer said students at Carver are encouraged to read for 15 minutes during the school day every day.

“Our teachers also talk to our students about what they have read,” Principal Farmer added.

Students also got photo opportunities with their state education leader after he ensured them he’s working on his skills too.

Woods said, “One of the greatest ways that we can learn or one of the easiest ways that we can learn is just to read. Whether that’s for pleasure, I think about how I read my bible everyday or read books that I even grew up with from time to time.”

Superintendent Woods also made stops in Columbia and Richmond Counties and Warrenton.