Local Yakima student receives national education award - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Yakima student receives national education award

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Julio Sanchez, 13 years-old, earns national recognition Julio Sanchez, 13 years-old, earns national recognition

Yakima, WA - An 8th grader from Wilson Middle School is one of 15 students across the nation selected to receive a very prestigious education award, the 180 Student Awards recognizes students that have made major accomplishments in academic fields.

13-year-old, Julio Sanchez, from Yakima, WA, is one of the 2016 winners, and that's because in just a couple of years he increased his reading level from a 1st grade level to a high school level.

Sanchez used to score 200's in reading tests, and has since increased his scores to being in the 1000's, all by using the national program Read 180.  The awards are based on the student's growth, and Julio, was selected as one of the 2016 winners.

"I'm still a little surprised that I won out of the whole nation, I think it means a lot for me," said Sanchez.

His recognition was no surprise to his teachers, who nominated him for the award, and say his continuous reading test score improvements made him stand out.  Julio says reading to his little sisters, along with a little friendly competition with his mom helps him grow in his reading even more.

"I wouldn't be here where I'm at right now, if it weren't for her, because my mom, she always wanted to read it but she never had the time, so at the beginning of the school year, I said if I read the Harry Potter series, you have to read the Harry Potter series," said Sanchez of his competition with his mom.

Julio will receive a $1,000 prize to be used toward his education, while his teacher, Ms. Gruhn will receive $1,000 worth of global learning company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt educational materials for her classroom.

Julio says with his money he plans on using $100 on buying himself the Percy Jackson series, and the Game of Thrones series for his mom.

For more information on the 180 Student Awards through HMH, click here.