Mrs. Alexander and Mrs. Altena



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Mrs. Alexander and Mrs. Altena

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Syre Global Reading Challenge will be held on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 in the Library at 12:30 PM.  

Information about the Global Reading Challenge

What is the Challenge?  In the late 1930’s, two Chicago school librarians developed a program to test young readers’ knowledge of good literature.  The program reached thousands of Chicago school children and was quickly turned into a weekly radio quiz program known as “Battle of the Books”.  Teams representing public elementary schools answered questions about characters, plots, and settings.

The Global Reading Challenge uses a format developed by the Portage Public Library with their successful Battle of the Books program.  However, the Global Reading Challenge also promotes the reading of fiction and non-fiction that celebrates the world’s diverse community.  The Global Reading Challenge is limited to 4th and 5th graders within the King County Library System’s service district in both public and private schools.

Each year, King County Library System Librarians select 10 books especially suited to the reading interests of their young readers.  A wide range of reading levels is represented by selected books so all students can participate in the Challenge.  Questions are based on specific and factual information found within the contents of the 10 books.

School Challenges will be conducted in each school building by KCLS library staff.  The top team from each school proceeds on to a School District Challenge and then possibly on to a Regional and Grand Challenge.  Schools may need to arrange transportation to these challenges.

Preparing for the Challenge

Once you decide to take the Challenge begin forming teams.

  • A team can consist of a combination of fourth and/or fifth grade students
  • A team must consist of at least three students with lower-level reading skills
  • A team made up of all advanced readers will not be accepted
  • A team must consist of six students, plus one “messenger”, for a total of seven
  • The “messenger” will perform the job as a “runner”, or the person who takes the team’s answer to the judge’s table
  • Messengers cannot participate in answering questions during a round, but can rotate with another team member after each round
  • Each team will elect a “team captain” who will act as the spokesperson for the group
  • First year participating schools may form no more than two teams. Second year participating schools may form up to four teams. Schools who have participated for two or more years may form up to seven teams.

Just Scream “Challenge” 

The excitement begins on OCTOBER 7 with the announcement and delivery of the Challenge books.  Each school will receive one set of books per team.  These books are given to your teams at the end of the challenge

Students should be preparing for the challenges by reading and discussing their books and building team spirit by designing Challenge banners or posters, decorating hats or t-shirts, etc.  You might want to ask for an adult volunteer from the community to assist your team or teams.

During this time, you and/or the adult coach should talk with the team on a regular basis to offer encouragement, check their progress and foster team cohesiveness.  Make sure that each team member understands which books on the list he or she is expected to be reading.

Strategy is up to you and your teams.  Some readers will want to read some or all of the books, while others are more comfortable focusing on just one book.

When the Challenge is scheduled at your school, it can be held in any way you and your teams feel most comfortable.  In-School Challenges have been held in a variety of settings, from a small kindergarten room or library, to a gymnasium filled with an audience of parents, teachers, and 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade students.  Many teachers take this opportunity to use selected titles as classroom read-alouds.

How the Challenge Works

Physical Set-up

Six team members will each sit in a chair closely grouped in a circle and be given paper and pencils.  The seventh member of each team is called a messenger. The messenger will stand next to the team and not participate in answering questions. Messengers may rotate into the circle after each round.

Two to three tables will be placed in the front of the room, along with two or three chairs.

Please have a list of teams and student names available one week before the challenge.


There will be three rounds. Each round will consist of 8 questions.  Extra questions will be asked in the event of a tie.  The messenger cannot help in answering the challenge questions.

Teams will have 30 seconds to write down an answer to the question on the provided paper.  Correct spelling is not essential, but the words must be identifiable.


Each correct answer earns a team five points.  The team with the highest total points becomes the In-School Challenge winner and proceeds on to the School District Challenge.  The team with the highest points at the School District Challenge will then advance to a Regional Challenge.  The top teams from each of the four regions will advance to the Grand Challenge.

Grand Challenge

The winning teams from each region (North, South, East, and Central) will participate in the Grand Challenge on Friday, March 23, 2012 at the King County Library System Administration Building in Issaquah.  Ten questions will be asked in each round for the Grand Challenge.  The team with the highest points at the end of three rounds will be declared the winner and receive the Grand Challenge trophy.  This “traveling trophy” will be held at the top team’s school for a year.

Awards, School Plaques, Certificates & Venues

Each school will receive a school trophy that is engraved with their winning team’s name.  Teams will receive certificates and prize bags at the end of the In-School Challenge.

At the School District Challenge, participating students will receive a certificate.  This Challenge will be held at one of the schools or at a King County Library, so transportation will need to be arranged by school administrators, librarians or teachers.

Regional Challenges will be held at either a King County Library or at a school that is convenient for all competing teams.   Teams will receive certificates.

For the Grand Challenge, each of the four regional teams will receive:  t-shirts, gold, silver, or bronze medal neck drapes and refreshments. The winning team will keep the Grand Challenge trophy for a year.

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