Gummy Bears shine at reading

The Gummy Bears of Gordon Greenwood Elementary have earned top marks as students who can not only read, but understand the books they read.

The Gummy  Bears, students in Grades 4 and 5, excelled in the Reading Link Challenge, a contest sponsored by the Fraser Valley Regional Library. They were required to read a selection of novels and compete in a trivia contest which tested their recall of minutiae in those assigned books.

And they accomplished this in a thoroughly modern way, reading e-books.

The school fielded dozens of participants in nine teams. The Gummies became the intramural competition winners, went on to win first place in the Langley District Reading Link Challenge, then the regional finals where they finished first among 266 schools.

This achievement allowed them to continue on to the Global Challenge round where they competed against three other top teams from Seattle and Coquitlam.

“Our Gummy Bears shone again, making only two errors in the competition and narrowly missing becoming the winners of the Global Challenge,” said Gordon Greenwood teacher-librarian, Lydia Gennai.

All students who took part in the RLC did so voluntarily, she said, applauding their participation.

“They are to be commended for their efforts. The Gummy Bears have gone on to perform nothing short of brilliantly in the next three levels. We are extremely proud of their significant achievement,” she said.

At a special assembly last month, the trophy for the Fraser Valley Challenge was presented by Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender, who chairs the Fraser Valley Regional Library board.

Fassbender told the children how important reading was to his children as they were growing up, and how reading is being reinforced in his grandchildren.

Gennai said that Reading Link motivates the vast majority of middle grade students.  She added that about 90 per cent of eligible students take part.

The Gummies used e-readers and, she added, both conventional books and electronic versions enhance reading and literacy among students.

The Grand Final Challenge between the Fraser Valley teams occurred in April at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley, where the gold medalists were the Gummy Bears.

The finals for the Global Reading Challenge were held at University of the Fraser Valley. After a series of in-school challenges, the grand challenge for the Fraser Valley Region, the Gummy Bears and the Speed Readers II from Panorama Heights Elementary in  Coquitlam, were the champions from 105 schools, 443 teams and 3101 students in Grades 4 and 5. These two teams challenged two others from Seattle.

The four finalists were questioned on their knowledge and retention of four books, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and other natural Disasters; Number the Stars; Riding Freedom and the Watsons go to Birmingham-1963.

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