Stanwood third-graders take top honors in reading challenge


The Rockin’ Raccoons of Stanwood Elementary moments after taking top honors at the 2018 third grade reading challenge, March 28, 2018 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Photo gallery

Little known fact: Rockin’ Raccoons are very good readers.

In fact, the seven students on the team from Stanwood Elementary are the top-scoring readers in the 2018  Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third Grade Reading Challenge.

The reading challenge is a months-long literary trivia program for third-graders at public schools in Snohomish and Island counties. More than 1,300 students

on 200 teams from 50 schools participated this year. Teams test their skills at in-school competitions and then regional semifinal events before the finals.

“The reading challenge is, of course, about reading, but it is also about teamwork and fun,” said Joy Feldman, Sno-Isle Libraries early learning coordinator.

The event finals took place March 28, 2018 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts with the Rockin’ Raccoons and teams from six other schools. The students answered questions drawn from six books that they’ve been reading throughout the challenge.

Following three rounds of eight questions each, the Rockin’ Raccoons and the Guardians of the Books from Brier Elementary were tied. Two tiebreaking questions later, the 2018 title went to the Stanwood team of Owen Anderson, Olivia Otto, Alex Spoor, Max Humiston, Delaney McDowell, Whitney Longspaugh, and Jordan Rancourt along with their teacher, Jenny Sepulveda.

The reading challenge focuses on third grade because research shows that literacy skills at third grade are key to later academic and life success, Feldman said. Students not reading at grade level are less likely to finish high school.

Attending the finals were two authors of books in the challenge, Patrick Jennings and Kelly Jones. Jones said before the finals began that third grade was indeed a tipping point for her.

“I liked to write, but I didn’t know how to be an author,” Jones said. A writing assignment in third grade became Jones’ first book, titled “Betty and the Flea.” Jones brought the hand-illustrated and bound book with her to the finals. “That teacher came to my first book-signing,” Jones said.

The six books in this year’s challenge are:

The reading challenge is made possible by funding from the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and the Northwest Literacy Foundation. The Edmonds Bookshop also supports the reading challenge.

2017-18 Participating schools

Arlington School District

  • Presidents Elementary

Coupeville School District

  • Coupeville Elementary

Darrington School District

  • Darrington Elementary

Edmonds School District

  • Beverly Elementary
  • Brier Elementary
  • Cedar Valley Community School
  • Cedar Way Elementary
  • College Place Elementary
  • Edmonds Elementary
  • Hilltop Elementary
  • Lynndale Elementary
  • Maplewood K-8
  • Martha Lake Elementary
  • Seaview Elementary
  • Sherwood Elementary
  • Spruce Elementary
  • Terrace Park Elementary
  • Westgate Elementary

Everett School District

  • Silver Firs Elementary
  • Silver Lake Elementary

Granite Falls School District

  • Monte Cristo Elementary


Lake Stevens School District

  • Glenwood Elementary
  • Highland Elementary
  • Skyline Elementary
  • Sunnycrest Elementary

Marysville School District

  • Grove Elementary
  • Sunnyside Elementary

Monroe School District

  • Chain Lake Elementary
  • Frank Wagner Elementary
  • Fryelands Elementary
  • Maltby Elementary
  • Sky Valley Educational Center

Mukilteo School District

  • Discovery Elementary
  • Fairmount Elementary
  • Odyssey Elementary
  • Picnic Point Elementary
  • Serene Lake Elementary

Oak Harbor School District

  • Broadview Elementary
  • Crescent Harbor Elementary
  • Hillcrest Elementary
  • Oak Harbor Elementary
  • Olympic View Elementary

Snohomish School District

  • Dutch Hill Elementary
  • Machias Elementary
  • Riverview Elementary
  • Seattle Hill Elementary

South Whidbey School District

  • South Whidbey Elementary

Stanwood-Camano School District

  • Cedarhome Elementary
  • Stanwood Elementary
  • Utsalady Elementary
  • Twin City Elementary