The Reading Olympics (R.O.) is a program that encourages students to increase the quality and quantity of books they read for enjoyment. This national program is currently active in schools in Bucks, Montgomery, and other counties in Pennsylvania. In Easton, the program is offered at the elementary level as the Reading Olympics and at the secondary schools as the Spring Challenge. According to Pennsylvania Language Arts Standards, each year every child is expected to read and comprehend “25 chapter books…representing a wide range of materials by a variety of authors on different subjects.” This program is open to all 3rd and 4th grade students in the district.
To participate, a student must choose to read at least 3 books from the R.O. Book List. They may choose to read the entire list of books. As they are reading the books, the students need to devise several trivia questions and answers about the stories. Notes should also be taken, as this will increase recall when it is time for the competition. Forms for the questions will be available. Plain paper may also be used. The competition will be in May. The teams from all of the elementary schools in EASD will compete by answering student-generated questions about the books.
A Book List will be given to each participant. The books will be available in the Palmer School Library. Some of the books may also be available in classroom libraries or the Easton Area Public Library. The books may also be purchased at bookstores or online. The participants may check out an additional library book per week from the Reading Olympics book list.
Questions for each book read should be dropped off in the library.
Teams will be formed about 6-8 weeks prior to the competition. Each team will consist of 8 to 14 members. Each team should read the entire book list, with each member reading at least 3 books.
The Easton Area R. O. for 3rd & 4th Graders will be held in early May. The student-generated questions will be the ones used in the competition. A student must be a member of a Reading Olympics team in order to participate.
Palmer Elementary students who choose to participate in the R. O. program will:
- read a minimum of 3 books from the book list
- make notes and develop factual questions for each book
- talk about the books with a discussion group or with their parents
- meet with their team in Spring to review questions
Parents can help their child by:
- encouraging them to read the minimum of 3 books from the book list
- reading over their notes and questions while discussing the books with them
- checking that questions are factual- that the answers can be found in the story
- obtaining the books from another source if the library copies are unavailable.