Third-graders competing in 2019 reading challenge

Members of the Rocket Readers from South Whidbey Elementary celebrate becoming the top scoring team at their school for 2019.

The 2019 Third Grade Reading Challenge events are underway.

Officially called “The Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third-Grade Reading Challenge,” the 2019 version of the literary trivia program involves third-graders at 51 elementary schools in 13 school districts across Snohomish and Island counties. In 2018, more than 1,300 students participated.

Teams of 6-8 students start in the fall reading six books chosen by Sno-Isle Libraries staff members for the challenge. The teams then test their knowledge in a quiz-bowl style game. The challenges started with in-school events and top scoring teams from each school go on to regional semifinal events. Those events are taking place now and the top teams from the regionals advance to the finals set for March 25 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

At the 2018 finals, the Rockin’ Raccoons from Stanwood Elementary came out on top.

Third-graders are the focus of the challenge because research shows that reading ability in third grade can be a tipping point for later academic and life success. Students not reading at grade level are less likely to finish high school which may have consequences later in life.

The reading challenge is sponsored by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation.

Semifinal and final events schedule: