Cobb Middle School Students Go for Gold in Olympic-Style Reading Challenge

Inspired by the 2018 Winter Olympics, Cobb middle school students are competing in an Olympic Reading Challenge in February.

Students and staff log books that they read to determine the winners across five Olympic events: speed skating, biathlon, bobsledding, Nordic Combined, and curling.

A student will earn the title of speed skater for reading a book in 48 hours. A student biathlete is required to read three books from different genres. Friends will team up to read the same book to complete the bobsledding challenge. When students read a series of three or more books, they are dubbed Nordic combined champions. For the Cobb County School District reading challenge, a curling Olympian must read a book that has more than 400 pages.

Anita Foster, the library media specialist at Awtrey Middle School, kicked off the Olympic reading event by challenging media specialists at other schools to compete for gold—the school that logs the most books read.

The Olympic teams include Awtrey Middle School, Daniell Middle School, Dodgen Middle School, Dickerson Middle School, Barber Middle School, Lost Mountain Middle School, Smitha Middle School, Simpson Middle School, and Tapp Middle School.

“This is encouraging reading at our schools and collaboration among the media specialists,” Foster explained. “It is also instilling school pride with a fun competition. Students are excited, staff members are excited and enjoying the competition.”

The Olympic Readerboard website shows the tally of books that students have read at each school. Students and staff use the website to submit information on the books they have read using QR codes.

“The library media specialists in Cobb know how to engage our middle schoolers and keep them reading,” said Holly Frilot, CCSD supervisor of library media education. “In addition to purchasing books that students want to read, they creatively develop programs like the Olympic Reading Challenge to motivate students to read and talk about what they’re reading with other students – creating a community and culture of reading in our schools.”