On April 30, a group of Grade 5 students from Prince Charles Elementary School demonstrated they are no ordinary readers.
Last November, under a program called Reading Link challenge sponsored by the Fraser Valley Regional Library, Grades 4 and 5 students from all over the Lower Mainland were given a series of six books to read and study.
In teams of six, the children read and became familiar with the six selected books. At the first challenge level, teams within their own school compete with each other answering questions on characters, plots and settings. The winning team at each school then goes on to the next challenge level at the local public library where the competition is repeated with a different set of questions.
After this point, regional library systems may have an additional challenge level for winning teams from the different communities they serve. At the grand challenge level, a number of winning teams from different library systems come together for a competition at a event with a public audience.
This year there were over 3000 students forming 502 teams from 116 schools.
The Classy Turtles from Prince Charles came in first at their own school and moved on to the next competition held at Clearbrook Library. There they beat out 12 teams from around the district and moved on to the next challenge in Langley.
Once again they won the gold medal and moved on to the Grand Challenge Final – the first time an Abbotsford school has made it this far. On April 30, their schools were put to the test competing against the best of the best from all the districts and regions.
The students came out with a silver medal.
Tyson Beulens, one of the team members, said in addition to reading all the books multiple times he read his chosen book – The Sky is Falling – at least 20 times during the study period.
Asked what he will be doing for the summer, Beulens said “not reading The Sky is Falling!”
The Reading Link Challenge teams read these six books:
The Sky is Falling, by Kit Pearson
The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies
Alvin Ho: Allergic to birthday parties, science projects and other man-made catastrophes, by Lenore Look
Poppy, by Avi
The Paper House, by Lois Peterson
Everest: The conquest, by Gordon Korman