By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — It has been more than 20 years since the Davenport Public Library’s summer reading challenge trophy has graced the corridors of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School.
On Sept. 2, students threw their hands in the air and cheered when they learned that the trophy was back at their school.
Lexie Reiling, the Davenport library’s youth services and programming supervisor, hid the trophy behind the stage curtain prior to an all-school assembly. She told the students that they were the winners, and then pulled out the trophy. Excitement rang throughout the gym. Adams Elementary in Davenport had been the winner for around 20 years. That school’s students will certainly challenge the St. Paul students next summer, she said.
Lorene Knobbe, St. Paul the Apostle’s curriculum director, said she learned about the school’s victory about a week ahead of the announcement and kept it a secret from the students. Reading challenges are nothing new to St. Paul students. Last school year they won a reading challenge amongst themselves that resulted in Principal Julie Delaney sitting on the roof for a school day. They won a reading challenge over Christmas break, too, which meant students earned a day to wear pajamas and drink hot chocolate in classes. “This is our third big challenge win,” Knobbe said.
Reiling said all public and private schools participated in the reading challenge. Students kept track of their reading minutes and submitted a log in August. The winner is chosen based on percentage of students who read and the amount of material read. Reiling noted that the reading challenge is one way to reduce retention loss over the summer. “We also want to show that reading is fun. We will help students find that there is something for everyone.”
Knobbe said, “We are thrilled to have won and look forward to a fall reading challenge within the school.” The trophy will be placed in the library. Knobbe and Reiling said the school will be recognized at an upcoming Davenport City Council meeting this month.