During the month of May, the Tulare County Office of Education’s Redwood Conference Center is typically brimming with students excited to demonstrate their shared knowledge of books they have read throughout the school year. The students in grades 4-8 come in teams to compete in separate elementary and middle school Reading Revolution events, held over two days.
Each fall, Educational Resource Services releases an elementary and middle school list of books students should read in order to compete in the event. Reading Revolution is a fun event designed to promote literacy and the joy of reading found in quality fiction and nonfiction literature. The event is also designed to increase reading comprehension and promote teamwork and collaboration.
Prior to the closure of schools, the competition had 40 middle school teams and 57 elementary school teams registered. Rather than cancel the event, coordinators created two virtual elements of Reading Revolution so that previously registered teams could participate. The modified activities included Cover That! and RR Book Chats. With projects due May 21, students shared their images and presentations with the student events team.
For the virtual Cover That! event, students chose their favorite book from the official list and designed an alternative book cover that differed from the original using knowledge gained while reading the book. The competition received several submissions, with Blended by Sharon M. Draper being the most popular title. “The students did a fabulous job drawing new book covers,” said Debra Lockwood, ERS Library/Media supervisor. “They paid a lot of attention to details and re-envisioned some of the most important elements of the books.”
For the virtual RR Book Chats event, students chose one of the titles from the official book list and created a two-minute presentation describing the book and convincing the viewer to read it themselves.
To see the submissions received in the virtual Reading Revolution event, visit tcoe.org/ReadingRevolutionResults. Next year’s Reading Revolution for elementary teams will be held Thursday, May 6, 2021, followed by the middle school competition on Friday, May 14, 2021. Both events will be held at the TCOE Redwood Conference Center, where the student events team and the ERS Library team look forward to hosting students once again.