(Cheering capacity crowd just before the competition began)
“These are not the Hunger Games,” quipped Mary Palmer, emceeing tonight’s Global Reading Challenge citywide finals at the Seattle Public Library‘s Central Library downtown. “Nobody’s going to die tonight.” And, she added semi-sternly, if anyone came for the thrill of “winning,” they’re not in the right place either – as the kids repeated after her, they’re all already “WINNERS!”
(Arbor Heights team at top left, Alki in black in the middle, Roxhill is the far-right team in blue)
And that, they were – though in the end, only two of the ten competing teams scored high enough to move on to the final round of competition, a video-linked competition next month against Canadian students. And one is from West Seattle – George’s Magician’s Treasures, from Alki Elementary! (added – photo courtesy Kathleen)
GMT and the team from Adams both scored 120 points. (added) Here’s our video of the announcement of all teams’ scores (including WS’s other 2 contenders, from Roxhill and Arbor Heights) – in the last minute or so, you’ll see how Alki celebrated:
As the evening began, Palmer told the tale of how the GRC began with three schools and nine teams when the late John Stanford was Seattle Public Schools Superintendent and asked that the Seattle Public Library and SPS find something to work on together. Now – hundreds of teams.
The teams are fourth or fifth graders – most participating schools had multiple teams. Each chooses its own name – Alki’s winning team was George’s Magicians Treasures, Arbor Heights’ team was Da Peeps, Roxhill’s team was Stoehr’s Super Stars. During the finals, there were three rounds, each with eight questions relating to books chosen to be part of this year’s GRC (here’s the list). The questions were read as multiple choice or true/false; each team conferred to reach its decision, and sent a representative with the answer, written, to the judges’ table. So, as you might expect in a library, there was a fair amount of quiet during the competition! (Sample question: What is an Afghan charpoy is? Answer: A 4-legged bed or couch.)
“March Madness may have the final four, but we have the final ten!” Palmer also noted … and then, after almost an hour of competition, the final two.
More to come, including video. Gotta go see if we can snag a closer photo of the Alki team!