Students from five of West Hartford’s public schools are participating in the U.S. finals of the Kids’ Lit Quiz on Friday, Jan. 29, hoping to earn a trip to the world finals in New Zealand.
Children from five schools in West Hartford (Braeburn Elementary School, Duffy Elementary School, Morley Elementary, King Philip Middle School and Sedgwick Middle School) have been reading their hearts out in preparation for The Kids’ Lit Quiz (KLQ) US Finals on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Welte Hall at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU).
Due to the growing numbers of entries, two heats were held – Heat A (Tuesday, Jan. 26) and Heat B (Wednesday Jan. 27) with the top eight teams competing in the U.S. National Final (Friday, Jan. 29). Students from Braeburn Elementary, Duffy Elementary and King Philip Middle School competed in Heat A on Tuesday, Jan. 26, and students from Morley Elementary, and Sedgwick Middle School will competed in Heat B on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Three teams from Sedgwick and a team from King Philip made it to the final round.
This year in the combined heats 76 teams (over 300 children) represented 27 schools in Connecticut and 15 districts.
This event is sponsored by the Department of Reading and Language Arts at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) to promote a culture of literacy and wide reading within homes, schools and communities. Students work in teams of 4 to prepare to demonstrate their knowledge of children’s literature at the U.S. Final. The winning team of this competition has the opportunity to represent Connecticut and the U.S. in the World Final.
The quiz has been around for over 20 years, but US involvement is relatively new. Since its initiation in the U.S., teams from Connecticut have competed in the World Finals in New Zealand (2012), Durban, South Africa, (2013) and Cornwall, UK (2014), and here at CCSU (2015). In 2014 and 2015 two winning U.S. teams from Sedgwick Middle School represented Connecticut in the World Finals under the guidance of their coach, Liz Natale.
In 2015 CCSU sponsored the first World Final hosted in the United States. Teams and their coaches came from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom to get a taste of our Connecticut literary heritage, U.S. hospitality, and to make life long cross-cultural friends. This year the winning team will have the opportunity to compete in New Zealand in August 2016!
The KLQ puts readers onto the international stage and lets them compete for fantastic prizes. It is a not for profit organization and is run entirely by volunteers. Reading and Language Arts Professor at CCSU, Catherine Kurkjian, who also serves as the U.S. national coordinator for the Quiz, organized the event and has seen enthusiasm for the KLQ spread like wildfire across Connecticut. It is her hope that this enthusiasm will take root in other states so that the teams from all over the US will be inspired to read, collaborate, and compete. She is encouraged since this year teams from Goshen Indiana will compete in the US Finals.
The KLQ is the brainchild of Wayne Mills, who serves as Quiz Master. Mills, retired senior lecturer at the University of Auckland in the Faculty of Education, launched the Kids Lit Quiz in New Zealand in 1991. He comments, “Keen readers are never given prizes for their love of reading.” His goal is 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.”
For more information, click here to visit the Kids Lit Quiz website.