• SCHOOLS: All of the elementary schools, and sixth graders from the middle schools in the Lockport City District
• ADVISERS: Lisa Cleveland and Daina Burke
• WHAT THEY’RE ABOUT: A team of students who participate in a reading comprehension competition
• HOW THEY’RE DOING: Lockport was in first place after the first of two competitions
Reading and winning
They compete for Lockport, but it isn’t in an athletic event or a science fair. A group of elementary students are wearing the blue and gold with pride while reading.
About 12 second to sixth grade students from all of the Lockport schools participate in “Page Turners,” a reading comprehension competition. Students are given a list of books to read and then attend a competition in winter and spring to answer questions about them. They compete against teams in other districts, and have to read about 30 books. At the end of the first competition in the winter, Lockport is in first place.
“We get a step closer every year,” said fourth grade teacher Daina Burke, a coach for Page Turners. “It’s great, you can be a reader and compete. You’re being rewarded because you love to read.”
Page Turners is a program started with the Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Burke and Lisa Cleveland brought Page Turners to Lockport four years ago. Finishing third out of four teams in its first year, Lockport improved to second place last year. This year there are six teams from five districts, and the Lockport kids are on top with 26 points. However, a team from Batavia is in second with 23 points.
“I like the competition, it’s fun and scary,” said fourth grader Leah Miller. “But if we win the next one, we go to the finals.”
The students huddle together on stage, six students at a time, and think together to answer questions about what they have read. One student of the group gives the team’s answer. It might be a little nerve racking, but the students do come through their coaches say.
“They respond well to pressure,” Cleveland said. “We get nervous though.”
Lockport has two sections of six students, the blue and gold teams as the kids called it. An alternate section of students that answers questions “just for fun” as one Page Turner put it. There are three teams on stage at once, and if all three teams miss or pass on the question, the audience gets to answer it. They may even win a prize if they are right.
Participants must not only read the books on the list, but write questions about them. Students record information that they think might be a question to ask, and sometimes they are submitted and used in competition. The questions could be about anything in the books on the list.
“Some of the questions were putting events in order, multiple choice,” said James Quinones, a fifth grader. “We wrote some of them down, so those we knew.”
Some of the questions asked what book certain phrases came from. Aside from reading and writing questions, the Page Turners also take online quizzes that they have to pass.
They may enjoy reading, but some of the kids know they’ll have to keep working hard to stay ahead of the competition. Page Turners have a competition in the spring, and if they have the highest point total after the two competitions they will advance to a regional competition in May.
“If we don’t keep going, we’ll be toast,” Leah said.
Contact reporter Joe Olenick
at 439-9222, ext. 6241.
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