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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Do students have to read all the books?

As a team, they should read all the books. Students are encouraged to read all the books, but with different reading abilities and interests, some children read only one book, or parts of several books.

What are the different levels of challenge?

There are four challenge tiers that are typically offered to participating students. However, some libraries may coordinate less depending on the number of participating students in the region.

Who selects the books?

A team of library staff from Coquitlam Public Library, Fraser Valley Regional Library, New Westminster Public Library, North Vancouver City Library, and Surrey Public Library selects the six titles using criteria such as boy/girl interest, reading level, multicultural themes, and Canadian/BC authors.

Who creates the questions?

The questions are created by UFV student volunteers. Then the same team of library staff that chose the books vets the questions and sorts them into the various level of challenges. The questions include multiple choice, true or false, and short answer factual questions. Sets of easy, medium and hard questions are mixed in the different levels of competition. A master list of questions is created so that all teams are asked the same questions at each level.

As a B.C. Public Library, how can we get started?

Make a commitment to start in the next Reading Link Challenge year- starting each September! Contact Dana Ionson no later than June 30 if you wish to participate in your community. You will need a staff member to pilot the project, and to commit staff time from the start of the program in the fall, when the schools are invited, to April of the next year when the challenges are completed.

As a teacher or school-librarian, how can we get started?

Contact your local public library and ask if they participate in the RLC. If not, suggest they join!

Do I need to work with other library systems to have a challenge?

No, just start small. The first time you conduct a challenge in your community, invite schools in your neighbourhood with teacher librarians with whom you have or wish to develop a connection. Depending on how many teams and how many schools participate, you may start and stop at different levels of the challenge. For example, if you have two teams from a single school (and no other schools participating), you would just have a school challenge for those two teams. If you have a single team each from multiple schools, you would have a library challenge, since there would be no need to determine a winning team from each school if there is only one in the first place. Don't worry if this is confusing! Please see our Contact Us page to send any questions you may have.

How can my library afford this?

The biggest expense is the books. One set of books is required for each registered team. Books selected for the challenge are always available in paperback. Fraser Valley Regional Library coordinates the discounted book order from United Library Service for all participating library systems in the province.

Apply for funding or grants for the book purchases. The Vancouver Sun Raise a Reader program, service clubs such as the Rotary and other programs funding literacy projects have contributed to book purchases. Other expenses include the prizes and any refreshments you choose to provide at your challenges.

What if I am worried that the content of one book might be too challenging for one or more students?

You can assign students to teams and make sure teams have a mix of grades 4s and 5s as well as reading abilities and maturity levels. Assign the harder books to more confident readers and let other students know that the more challenging books are optional. You may want to send notices home with participating students and encourage parents to read RLC books with their children.

Can homeschoolers participate in RLC?

Yes, homeschoolers in grades four and five can participate, if library staff has the time and resources to support them. If there is more than one team of homeschoolers in your library's community, the homeschooler contact(s) will need to organize a "School Challenge" to determine which of the homeschooler teams will advance to the Library Challenge level. If there is only one team of homeschoolers, that team will automatically participate at the Library Challenge level. The homeschooler team(s) should be supported by library staff in the same manner as a group of teams at a school, i.e. provided book set(s), and staff to help run their "School Challenge," if necessary. The School Challenge level is exciting and builds momentum for the Library Challenge, and as such, we suggest you strongly encourage your homeschooler contact(s) to try to form more than one team. If you receive separate inquiries from more than one homeschooler contact, put them in touch so they can work together on a School Challenge to determine which of the local homeschooler teams will advance to the Library Challenge.

Do we need to have prizes for the winning teams?

If you want to! Many libraries give all participants at the first or school level a small prize. Some libraries give the winning team at the library level a plaque engraved with their team name that is kept at the school for a year.

What kinds of refreshments are required?

If you want to offer refreshments, juice boxes and cookies will suffice at all the challenge levels.