Wild Hot Jellybeans and Skyfall Readers claim challenge title

Grace Geen, Hanna Harpur, Anna Geen, Bailey Patterson, Faith Zitko and Shivana Sardinha medals at the 2014 competition.

Midway library director Stephanie Boltz fires up the audience.

What does the West Boundary have in common with Chicago, Kalamazoo, Seattle, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam? The Reading Link Challenge (RLC).

It was in Chicago—way back in the 1930s— that two school librarians developed a program to test young readers’ knowledge of good literature. This became a weekly radio quiz program known as “The Battle of the Books.”

In the early 1990s, Kalamazoo Public Library revived the challenge as a way to encourage 4th and 5th grade children to have fun and enjoy reading. Next Seattle partnered with Kalamazoo; and then the Challenge hopped north of the border to the Lower Mainland in 2002. The program is now strongly supported by the British Columbia Library Association and Ministry of Education.

It has been in the Boundary for five years now. The Challenge pits two schools against each other – West Boundary Elementary vs. Greenwood/ Midway Elementary; and for the first time Grade students from Big White participated.

In January students are given six books which have been chosen by a team of librarians from the Lower Mainland using criteria such as boy/ girl interest, reading level, multicultural theme, Canadian /B.C. author.

Teams of Grade 4/5 students are formed in each of the schools—up to seven students per team. There were 12 teams between the two schools this year. Each team reads and discusses the books—becoming familiar with the characters, plot, and other facts from the books.

Each school holds an ‘In School Challenge’ to determine which team will represent their school at the Reading Link Challenge Finals – which were held in the West Boundary gym last week— using a different set of questions.

The action was intense. The gym was filled with kids because each school also brought student cheering squads. Questions were asked and scores recorded by librarians and volunteers/ directors from Greenwood and Midway public libraries.

This was the fifth year that the challenge has been held in the Boundary and the students now in Grade 6/7 were among the first to participate when they were in Grade 4/5. This year the older students from each school sent teams to compete for medals.

The Grade 4/5 kids were competing to win a place on the RLC Trophy.

The winning team in 2014 for the Grade 6/7s was the Wild Hot Jellybeans from West Boundary Elementary (Grace Geen, Hanna Harpur, Anna Geen, Bailey Patterson, Faith Zitko and Shivana Sardinha). West Boundary’s Skyfall Readers (Kayden Eaton, Elijah Steele, Skyra Elliot, Wyatt Lasai, Charlie Brunt from Big White) won the trophy.

Teachers who have been involved say the RLC is a fabulous way to motivate kids to read.


Just Posted

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

Fruitvale man, 25, dies after falling from zipline in Thailand, reports say

Bangkok Post says man fell from Flight of the Gibbon zipline in Chiang Mai

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read