What is the Third Grade Reading Challenge?


The Third Grade Reading Challenge ended in Spring 2021. Sno-Isle Libraries is offering an interim program in 2021-22 called Third Graders Read Together. In 2022-23, we are excited to launch a new reading program for third graders that will be even more fun, flexible, and inclusive!

The Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third-Grade Reading Challenge is a literary trivia program for students enrolled in public schools throughout Snohomish and Island counties.

The program was started on Whidbey Island by Oak Harbor Library Manager, Jane Lopez-Santillana. Since 2014, the program has been expanded across the two counties and has become one of Sno-Isle Libraries most popular and beloved programs.

The program encourages children to have fun and enjoy reading while honing their literacy and teamwork skills. After reading 4-5 books, children participate in first round, semi-final and final Reading Challenge online events. These competitive online events are styled like a knowledge quiz bowl, testing the teams' knowledge of the books.

Why third grade?

Research shows, opens a new window that reading ability in third grade can be a tipping point for later academic and life success. Students not reading at grade level are less likely to finish high school which may have consequences later in life.

The benefits

Students, teachers and parents agree the benefits abound to this wildly popular program!

Here's what students say about the program:

  • "The reading challenge makes me feel a part of a team."
  • "I started a huge book and it was easy."
  • "These books are super good."
  • "I really love the Reading Challenge and I hope it goes on for generations."

Parents and teachers watch students grow and develop:

  • "I had some students join this that I knew would and some that surprised me. I loved watching them be excited about feeling special and a part of something. They bonded a lot throughout this process. It also made reading a really positive experience."
  • "I'm thankful for this challenge because he truly gained more confidence and got to be a stronger reader."
  • "We as a family read more due to this challenge."

Every year we survey participants about this program. As a result of the Third Grade Reading Challenge:

  • 94% of participating students reported that they have more confidence in their reading ability
  • 95% of participating students reported feeling more a part of a team
  • 97% of parents reported that their student enjoyed reading more

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