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Oak Harbor Elementary Fantastic's answer reading challenge

Oak Harbor Elementary’s Fantastics, from left, front: Payten Seith, Liam Woodard, John Tryon; back: Brianna Moore, Jillian Knoll, Antonia Prosser, Jermaine Denmon and Allison Bailey.   - Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor Elementary’s Fantastics, from left, front: Payten Seith, Liam Woodard, John Tryon; back: Brianna Moore, Jillian Knoll, Antonia Prosser, Jermaine Denmon and Allison Bailey.
— image credit: Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Of all the work that went into getting her third graders ready for an island-wide reading competition last week, there was one thing Glenda Jackson didn’t count on.

The butterflies in her stomach.

Jackson and fellow third-grade teacher Peter Woodard from Oak Harbor Elementary School were doing fine maintaining their composure while sitting together in the audience and watching their students compete at the Whidbey Island Reading Challenge Semifinal March 11 at Oak Harbor High School.

That is, until their student team, the Fantastics, wound up in a tie for first place and needed to go into a tiebreaking round to decide the winner.

“All of a sudden, Peter and I had all this anxiety. We were like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Jackson said.

As it turned out, the Fantastics showed uncanny composure under pressure, huddling together like a football team to come up with the right answer to nudge past Coupeville Elementary and win the Whidbey Island event.

That means the Fantastics will move on to the Reading Challenge Final March 26 in Mukilteo where they’ll compete against teams from Snohomish County.

That event starts at 7 p.m. at Rosehill Community Center.

“We might be famous a little,” third grader John Tryon said.

“It feels pretty good to be on top of Whidbey Island,” Allison Bailey said.

The Fantastics are made up of eight Oak Harbor Elementary third graders: Jermaine Denmon, Jillian Knoll, Brianna Moore, Antonia Prosser, Payten Seith, Liam Woodard, Tryon and Bailey.

The Readers Challenge is a program sponsored by Sno-Isle Libraries that encourages children to have fun reading while honing literacy skills.

Starting two years ago with only two schools from Oak Harbor, the program involved all seven public elementary schools on Whidbey and 270 third graders for the second year in a row.

 

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