Young readers celebrated at second Rooster Games

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The Rhode Island Children’s Book Award, or RICBA, is a student-choice book award.

A list of 20 nominees is compiled by a committee of teachers, school librarians and public librarians, and the books chosen for the list are read by Rhode Island students in grades three through five. A winner is then declared based on student votes.

The Rooster Games event, a literary-themed competition, was developed based on the RICBA. Locally, Cranston Public Schools have partnered with the Cranston Public Library for the contest, which marked its second year on April 11.

In all, 12 teams from Cranston elementary schools – 85 students in all – competed for the title of Rooster Games champion at the Central Library, located at 140 Sockanosset Cross Road. Competing schools included Chester W. Barrows, Arlington, E.S. Rhodes, Garden City, Glen Hills, Oak Lawn, Orchard Farms, George J. Peters, Stadium, Stone Hill, Daniel D. Waterman and Woodridge.

The Rooster Games provided an opportunity for students to showcase what they learned while reading the RICBA nominees. Students needed to have read seven of the nominees to qualify for the competition.

“The library was packed with students, teachers, librarians and families as students rotated through six different stations, each with a unique challenge,” said Emily Brown, youth services coordinator for the Cranston Public Library.

The night culminated in a celebration of the students who read all 20 books on the list, as well as recognition of the winning team from Barrows Elementary School. The team members each received a medal that was 3D printed at the library, and a Rooster Games trophy will be displayed at the school.

“The value of the Rooster Games seems … to be the delightful elevation of reading and intellectual engagement to the same level that our society usually reserves for sports,” said Brianne DeRosa, a Barrows parent.

“As a parent, we don’t want to it to be only about sports, so this library event is great,” Woodridge parent George Garcia said.

“I love working with the Cranston Public Schools librarians to offer something that celebrates readers,” Brown said. “There were kids here who read all 20 books. Some of them read all 20 books twice just to get ready for the games. Kids don’t often get public recognition for being awesome readers, so this is a really special event for us.”

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