Studies have shown that the third grade is where children develop the foundation of lifelong literacy - or fall behind their peers. The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation helps prepare the next generation of readers to become the literate leaders of tomorrow by presenting the Sno-Isle Libraries Third Grade Reading Challenge.
In 2017, 51 schools from 14 districts throughout Snohomish and Island counties participated in the Reading Challenge. More than 1,300 third graders on 194 teams shared the learning and excitement.
Some typical comments from the students: "I used to hate reading but now I love reading" and "It was fun to work together in a group." Feedback from parents was equally enthusiastic. Said one: "The Reading Challenge really brought my family closer together. We loved the quality time ‘off electronics.' Go sit and read and talk about the books—we read every night together, now as a family and it is our highlight."
As part of the Reading Challenge, 12 schools were visited by authors Suzanne Selfors or Patrick Jennings. Those schools have a high rate of children who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, and some of them had never had an author visit before.