Battle of the books: ‘Global Reading Challenge’ at Sanislo

Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Leapin’ Lizards — it’s the winning team from Sanislo!

This morning at Sanislo Elementary, 4th and 5th graders filed into the library and took their small chairs, grouped into teams of six. The instructions were given: A question about a book they read will be asked aloud; they’ll have 30 seconds to put their heads together and quietly discuss the answer. When they have an answer, they are to write it down and bring it to the front of the room for judging.

Of the seven teams, one emerged victorious.

This is the “Global Reading Challenge” — a partnership between Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Public Library to encourage reading among Seattle students.

From the Seattle Public Library website:

“The Global Reading Challenge is a Battle of the Books program for 4th and 5th graders enrolled in the Seattle Public Schools. The program encourages children to have fun and enjoy the sport of reading. After reading 10 books, children take part in a “Quiz Bowl” game to determine the winner for the city of Seattle. The winning Seattle team takes home the Global Reading Challenge traveling trophy and goes on to a videoconference challenge between Seattle and Fraser Valley and Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada.”

Other West Seattle elementary schools participating in the challenge include Lafayette, Roxhill, Arbor Heights, Alki, Gatewood, and Highland Park. Books read by all participating students include: Jackie and Me, Seaglass Summer, The Magician’s Elephant and Extra Credit. According to Sanislo librarian Craig Seasholes, many of these books deal with cultural differences or race relations, and present them in a way that’s easy for kids to understand and think about.

Quiz questions were mainly True/False or multiple choice options such as: “True or False? In Snow Treasure, the children …”

When groups got the correct answers, their excitement was palpable — from the wide smiles on their faces to the wriggling in their seats. Similarly, upon finding out they had answered incorrectly, faces and limbs sagged: these kids were in it to win it.

The contest was moderated by South Park branch Librarian Beatriz Pascual-Wallace (pictured, standing) and at the end, she announced the winning team, with 105 points: “The Leaping Lizards!”

The Leaping Lizard students will go to the semi-finals held at the downtown Central Library in mid-March to compete against other winning Seattle Public Schools‘ groups.

Librarian Seasholes made a point of congratulating all the teams, adding, “It’s really fun to see you all read together.”

6 Replies to "Battle of the books: 'Global Reading Challenge' at Sanislo"

  • Proudmama February 16, 2012 (8:50 pm)

    Go you Leapin’ Lizards and the rest of the Sanislo teams. You all are so amazing. Go Sanislo – we will be there to cheer you on on March 12th.

  • Craig Seasholes February 17, 2012 (7:47 am)

    Students’ enthusiasm for reading is infectious. Congratulations to the Leaping Lizards teamwork and to all the 40+ students who participated.

  • Mr. S February 17, 2012 (11:10 pm)

    Way to go Lizards!
    And kudos to all the voracious readers at Sanislo!
    We are so proud of you.

  • Miss Bea February 18, 2012 (4:37 pm)

    Must add that Concord International School in South Park is also participating in the challenge.

    Readers become leaders…great job to all the young participants!

  • Javier Delgado February 18, 2012 (4:42 pm)

    Look’s like everyone had a wonderful time! Congrats to everyone who participated and good luck in the semi-finals in Downtown!

  • Reeve February 28, 2012 (12:37 pm)

    So proud of our school! Go Sanislo Leapin’ Lizards!

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