The Bucks County Reading Olympics inspires kids to become lifelong readers. Since 1993, the Reading Olympics has been motivating students in Bucks County to read and discuss books. The purpose of this event is to encourage children to read more than they currently do, to read a greater variety of books, and to enjoy the excitement of reading and talking about books. The team format encourages students to share the challenge of reading the selection of books with their friends.
The Reading Olympics competition is the culmination of the program that has teams of students reading books from a prepared list for several months prior to the final event. Each team consists of 8 to 16 students who agree to read from groups of 45 books appropriate for their age and reading level. The book lists are prepared the previous year by interested teachers and librarians.
During the competition evening, all teams participate in three rounds of questioning. Teams are never eliminated. At the culmination of theevent, all students receive a ribbon, determined by the number of points their team earned during the evening. More than 700 volunteerswork as moderators, scorekeepers and team leaders during the competition. This collaboration and cooperation among so manyindividuals is amazing. Librarians, teachers, parents, students,district staff and even spouses all contribute to making this event asuccess. The founding team of organizations--the Bucks County Free Library, the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, and the Central BucksSchool District--is very proud of the spirit of collaboration that this event has inspired.
The planning committee feels that the real value of the Reading Olympics is in the preparation. Teachers and librarians volunteer to lead the teams in their own buildings.There is a great deal of flexibility as to how the program is run locally, but all involved have the same objective in mind - to get kids reading! The Reading Olympics provides an incentive and framework to read a variety of books. The event also encourages youngsters to share their ideas during discussions at the individual schools. One of the most rewarding aspects of this "Celebration of Reading" is that not only outstanding readers are included. Many students from a variety of classes have met the challenge of reading with their classmates.
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