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West Hartford Students Preparing for Kids Lit Quiz Finals

January 31 competition has trip to England on the line.

The following is a press release

Thirteen fifth graders at Duffy Elementary and students from Smith and Sedgwick are reading their hearts out in preparation for The Kids’ Lit Quiz US Finals on Friday, Jan. 31 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. They will be competing with145 students and alternates ranging from 5th, 6th and 7th graders representing 7 districts (New Britain, Meriden, East Haddam, Simsbury, West Hartford, Avon, & Wallingford) at Central Connecticut State University. CCSU’s Department of Reading and Language is hosting the Quiz, which promotes wide reading and tests knowledge of children's literature.

Duffy’s entered the competition the last two years sending 29 students to compete. This year they organized early and have been reading and meeting for 4 months! 

“This year we have read hundreds of books and we have some big readers.” exclaimed Bridie Drummey. Past students from Duffy have organized teams at Sedgwick and Bristow. “This is the third year Duffy has sent teams to the competition, the children have read hundreds of books preparing for the competition,” explained Clare Taylor, the 5th grade teacher who organized the Duffy teams. The US winner for last year was Squadron Line from Simsbury. Their team was able to represent the United States in the World Finals in South Africa. The kids from West Hartford schools will work in teams of 4 to answer 100 questions in 3 hours. “I got pick to design the logo and I hope my hard work will help us stand out,” said Luke Struthers. Nathaniel Cavo a 5th grade at Duffy said, “I have enjoyed working with my team and I have learned lots while having fun.” Nathaniel hopes his team can go to England.

The Kid’s Lit Quiz puts readers onto the stage and lets them compete for fantastic prizes. "It’s a fun sport for your brains and keeps you entertained for hours.” said Caragh Maloney, a Duffy student. “We don’t care who wins we just want to have fun,” shared Allison Shane. The Quiz has been offered in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada and China since 1991– and now the U.S; winning team will qualify for national and world finals in July in Cornwell, England. The Kids' Lit Quiz is not for profit and run entirely by volunteers. Reading and Language Arts Professor Catherine Kurkjian, who also serves as the U.S. coordinator for the Quiz, organized the event with Dr. Mary Beth Iacobelli, New Britain Public Schools.

In addition to being the first U.S. site for the Quiz, the brainchild of the event, Wayne Mills, will serve as Quiz Master. Mills is currently a Visiting Professor in CCSU’s Department of Reading and Language Arts and is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland in the Faculty of Education. Mills launched the Kids Lit Quiz in New Zealand in 1991 because he was concerned that “keen readers are never given prizes for their love of reading.” He wanted to make children who love books “as highly valued as school sports stars in his sports-mad country, with national TV coverage, trophies and opportunities to compete in exciting venues to spur them on.”

This web site has more info about the Kids Lit Quiz: http://www.kidslitquiz.com/home

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