Teams of third grade readers representing five schools in the Monroe School District are competing in the Sno-Isle Libraries' "Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third Grade Reading Challenge," a book knowledge quiz bowl competition for schools throughout Snohomish and Island counties.
The challenge, which the Sno-Isle library system introduced about six years ago, is a literary trivia program meant to encourage third grade students to enjoy reading while honing their literacy and teamwork skills. Why third grade? "Research indicates that students who are not reading at grade level in third grade are less likely to graduate from high school, so we wanted to focus on and encourage third graders and show them how fun and rewarding reading can be," said Shannon Dye, Children's Librarian at the Monroe Library.
Students participating in the competition were given several months to read the six assigned books, selected to encourage students to read books from a variety of genres. This year's books included:
- Guinea Dog by Patrick Jennings
- Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
- I Survived: The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980 by Lauren Tarshis
- Dragon Masters: Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West
- The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin
- The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
The participating students form groups of up to seven kids with six students participating and one serving as the answer-runner. The competition consists of three rounds, with eight questions per round, covering material from the six assigned books. Each round get progressively more difficult.
The competition started out small in Monroe two years ago with only one school participating. As the program has grown in popularity, however, more and more of our schools have joined in with five schools participating this year. Chain Lake Elementary kicked off this year's competition on Monday with a library full of third grade participants and spectators. With four teams battling for the most points, the competition ended with a sudden-death tie breaker between two teams.Fryelands Elementary followed on Tuesday with four teams of eager participants. Maltby Elementary teams will compete next Monday, March 12th at 2:00 p.m. and third grade students from Sky Valley Education Center and Frank Wagner Elementary will face off after school on Tuesday, March 14.
The winning team from each school will advance to the semi-final round at Snohomish High School on Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m, which will afford teams an opportunity to move on the the final round in Edmonds on March 28th.
While a healthy competition is always fun and exciting for kids, the focus of the program is ultimately on helping kids find the joy of reading. And with that as the true goal, all of the participating students should consider themselves winners.
Sno-Isles Library Foundation sponsors the Third-Grade Reading Challenge, along with Howarth Trust and the Northwest Literacy Foundation.