By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Moving toward the citywide semifinals in two weeks, Global Reading Challenge events continue at participating Seattle Public Schools, and today, it was Arbor Heights Elementary School‘s turn to gather its teams to compete, share their reading knowledge, and decide who’s moving to the next level.
This time, it took what was described as an “unprecedented” tiebreaker!
Moderated by librarian Jan Hogan of Seattle Public Library’s Southwest Branch, 4th and 5th graders gathered, along with parents and supporters holding team signs, to answer questions about the books that all students who are participating have been reading. And the competition was intense!
One parent noted that this group of students had collectively read more than 357 books, and approximately 30 percent of them had read all ten books on the reading list.
Arbor Heights principal Christy Collins is a huge supporter of the Global Reading Challenge. She told WSB, “This is so exciting, it exemplifies everything that’s right about public education. We have a diverse group of students, and there is challenge in rigor in the books they’re reading — some above their grade level — and it’s teaching them teamwork and collaboration.” She adds, “This is not something that’s just fun or fluffy, students are forced to work as a team. It’s competitive but not a sport, though we do have some jocks in there!”
These kids were clearly up to the challenge. During the third round, Jan Hogan asked, “Is everyone having fun?” to which a resounding “YEAH!” erupted. She followed up with, “Did you have fun reading the books?” again resulting in a happy shout of “YEAH!” They not only had fun, they clearly paid attention to what they were reading; an unprecedented four teams got perfect scores and tied for first place, resulting in a lightning-round tiebreaker.
After three more questions, it was down to two teams: “Da Peeps” and “Rebel Readers.”
(Da Peeps – Dylan, Ayden, Steph, Chase, Stone, Ruby; Siobhan in front)
In the end, it was “Da Peeps” — a group of 5th graders participating in their first-ever Global Reading Challenge – who answered all their questions correctly and will be going on to the semi-finals at the Downtown Library in mid-March.
EARLIER COVERAGE: 2 weeks ago, we covered the Sanislo GRC finals, also by invitation – that story’s here.