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Superfly

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Librarian wants to ban 5-time reading champ from contest - TODAY.com The mother of a 9-year-old reading whiz from New York is asking for an apology after a local librarian said she wanted her son banned from a reading club contest that he just won for the fifth year in a row.

After Tyler Weaver read 63 books between June 24 and Aug. 3 to win this year’s Dig Into Reading competition at the Hudson Falls Public Library, director Marie Gandron told a reporter from the Glens Falls Post-Star that Weaver “hogs’’ the contest every year and should “step aside.”
“Other kids quit because they can’t keep up,’’ Gandron said.
Gandron's declaration didn't sit well with Tyler and his family.
“When he heard what the director said [about him] he was very upset,’’ Katie Weaver, Tyler’s mother, told TODAY. “He’s never seen being good at reading to be a negative thing. And he shouldn’t! He realized that the director was wrong.

“I was really, really angry when I heard what she said," Weaver said. "I think Tyler deserves an apology. I want him to see that even though one person disagrees, if it’s something he wants to pursue, I think he should go for it. He learned a great lesson about ignoring negativity.”
Tyler has read 373 books over the course of five contests that began when he was in kindergarten. His younger brother, Jonathan, 7, also is a voracious reader, having won the contest for his age group two years running. However, books are not Tyler's sole interest.

“When this first happened, Tyler was excited because he won the book club again,’’ Weaver said. “He loves being king of the book club! He loves to read, but he also plays soccer, he swims, and he rides his bike, like any 9-year-old boy.”
Weaver said she has not heard anything from Gandron or the library’s board since Gandron’s public comments. Gandron told the Post-Star she initially wanted to change the contest rules so that the winners' names would be drawn out of a hat rather than just being the children who read the most.
In a previous year, she discovered that a girl and her mother were lying about reading more than 200 books. As a result, children now have to answer questions by a library aide about the content of the books after they return them in order to verify that they have indeed read what they've claimed. Lita Casey, a library aide for 28 years, told the Post-Star that Gandron’s idea to change the rules to picking names out of a hat is “ridiculous.”
“My feeling is you, you get it,’’ Casey said. “That’s just the way it is in anything. My granddaughter started working on track in grade school and ended up being a national champ. Should she have backed off and said, ‘No, somebody else should win?’ I told her [Gandron], but she said it’s not a contest, it’s the reading club and everybody should get a chance."
Heck, I dunno. Sounded to me like a contest. :roll: Read the most books, win a prize. Now she's wanting to change the rules because somebody does well? Well that's not right. When I was a senior in high school, I got 3 awards in band. One was for most talented, one was for best field director and one was for best leadership. My band director came up to me and told me it wasn't fair that I got 3, when some got none. I worked hard and was voted on by the others in band to get those, yet I didn't deserve them all? He made me feel guilty, and I said, "Alright. Give one of them to someone else."
 

lizzie

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Unfortunately, it's an attitude that has pervaded our society. Don't reward excellence, just try to make everyone appear to be the same. It's a shame.
 

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Well first, the thread title made me think you would be talking about my mother-in-law so I, too, am disappointed in this story; and

Second, it is a dumb set up anyway. They should have multiple winners and categories if they desire to encourage students to read. Boy/girl; fiction/non-fiction; longest book, most history; etc.
 

ecofarm

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He made me feel guilty, and I said, "Alright. Give one of them to someone else."
Ya know, you've got all that *****, every day, and I've got none...




:D
 

specklebang

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Lets see if I can make a case for the bad guys.

Winning a reading contest is a wonderful achievement. I'm a high speed reader myself and its been useful. But winning a contest 5 times that you aren't getting paid for seems unneccesary. Will you put it on your resume?

Being gracious is as least as useful a trait as speed reading. I think they missed a better opportunity.

.02
 

lizzie

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Lets see if I can make a case for the bad guys.

Winning a reading contest is a wonderful achievement. I'm a high speed reader myself and its been useful. But winning a contest 5 times that you aren't getting paid for seems unneccesary. Will you put it on your resume?

Being gracious is as least as useful a trait as speed reading. I think they missed a better opportunity.

.02
Yeah, but it's a reading contest, not a personality contest.
 

Cameron

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The solution was no to go to the press(!) and make the kid feel bad for winning the contest according to the rules the library itself set. The kid didn't do anything wrong. If the library is frustrated that its goals are not being reached, it should change strategies and maybe try something other than a competitive, one-person-wins-all contest.
 

specklebang

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Yeah, but it's a reading contest, not a personality contest.
I'm not arguing that. I'm just saying building character is valuable for young people also. These are formative years. They already know the kids a winner.
 

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Well first, the thread title made me think you would be talking about my mother-in-law so I, too, am disappointed in this story; and

Second, it is a dumb set up anyway. They should have multiple winners and categories if they desire to encourage students to read. Boy/girl; fiction/non-fiction; longest book, most history; etc.
That right there is the suggestion the librarian should have made. She should read more -- maybe she'd be a bit brighter.
 

MaggieD

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Lets see if I can make a case for the bad guys.

Winning a reading contest is a wonderful achievement. I'm a high speed reader myself and its been useful. But winning a contest 5 times that you aren't getting paid for seems unneccesary. Will you put it on your resume?

Being gracious is as least as useful a trait as speed reading. I think they missed a better opportunity.

.02
Nope. Fisher nailed it.

Otherwise, another solution might be that after X number of wins, one is a retired champion. But really? Fisher's got it right.
 

ChrisL

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Heck, I dunno. Sounded to me like a contest. :roll: Read the most books, win a prize. Now she's wanting to change the rules because somebody does well? Well that's not right. When I was a senior in high school, I got 3 awards in band. One was for most talented, one was for best field director and one was for best leadership. My band director came up to me and told me it wasn't fair that I got 3, when some got none. I worked hard and was voted on by the others in band to get those, yet I didn't deserve them all? He made me feel guilty, and I said, "Alright. Give one of them to someone else."
I agree. The kid earned it by working hard and putting the time in. This is bogus. :roll: Maybe her hair is pulled back in her bun too tightly and it's cutting off the circulation to her brain or something.
 

Aunt Spiker

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Why does the kid have to feel bad?

What's so wrong with *good sportsmanship* and saying 'step aside, give someone else a chance' and him going, 'okay!' with a smile.

That's how I was raised - anytime you prove to excel at a game or contest, you enjoy your success for a while - and then let someone else take on the challenge. This is just decent respect when it comes to competition where you trump above and beyond - over and over.

No hard feelings, it's not punishment :shrug: In contests that are held every year - when someone wins for a certain number of times, they will begin to just discourage participation if no one else will be able to win. Usually, they're asked to step aside or be involved in some other aspect: like judging a contest, encouraging new participants, etc.

If this kid loves reading so much maybe he can assist at the library, lead a reading group, or do some sort of brouhaha to stir the interest of others. Right now some other poor kid is enjoying his books but will never get a chance to be given that same spotlight because he's a slower reader. That hardly seems fair or good sportsmanship.
 

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Why does the kid have to feel bad?

What's so wrong with *good sportsmanship* and saying 'step aside, give someone else a chance' and him going, 'okay!' with a smile.

That's how I was raised - anytime you prove to excel at a game or contest, you enjoy your success for a while - and then let someone else take on the challenge. This is just decent respect when it comes to competition where you trump above and beyond - over and over.

No hard feelings, it's not punishment :shrug: In contests that are held every year - when someone wins for a certain number of times, they will begin to just discourage participation if no one else will be able to win. Usually, they're asked to step aside or be involved in some other aspect: like judging a contest, encouraging new participants, etc.

If this kid loves reading so much maybe he can assist at the library, lead a reading group, or do some sort of brouhaha to stir the interest of others.
I like your suggestion, too, where you talk about elevating him or changing his participation level. That would be perfect. In fact, it might be policy. That's the thing. Make it policy.

  • After X number of wins, you're a retired champion.**
  • After X number of wins, you are promoted to being part of the question-asking brigade to assure the kids really read the books.


But not "You can't win any more." For the librarian to say he shouldn't be allowed to participate anymore? I think that's just wrong. Solve the problem by making it go away; not by penalizing a student that excels.

**Five wins and you're trophy-ized in a case somewhere in the Library.
 

Superfly

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Why does the kid have to feel bad?

What's so wrong with *good sportsmanship* and saying 'step aside, give someone else a chance' and him going, 'okay!' with a smile.

That's how I was raised - anytime you prove to excel at a game or contest, you enjoy your success for a while - and then let someone else take on the challenge. This is just decent respect when it comes to competition where you trump above and beyond - over and over.

No hard feelings, it's not punishment :shrug: In contests that are held every year - when someone wins for a certain number of times, they will begin to just discourage participation if no one else will be able to win. Usually, they're asked to step aside or be involved in some other aspect: like judging a contest, encouraging new participants, etc.

If this kid loves reading so much maybe he can assist at the library, lead a reading group, or do some sort of brouhaha to stir the interest of others. Right now some other poor kid is enjoying his books but will never get a chance to be given that same spotlight because he's a slower reader. That hardly seems fair or good sportsmanship.
If they are going to do that, though, it should be common knowledge. This kid worked his ass off to read these books, and the rug's being swept out from under him. If the other kids want to win, put down the Xbox and pick up a book. It's really that simple. I'm sure that the little boy in the story had to sacrifice things he wanted to do, because he wanted to win the contest. Now he won the contest, and they're giving him a hard time about it.
 

Gipper

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Lets see if I can make a case for the bad guys.

Winning a reading contest is a wonderful achievement. I'm a high speed reader myself and its been useful. But winning a contest 5 times that you aren't getting paid for seems unneccesary. Will you put it on your resume?

Being gracious is as least as useful a trait as speed reading. I think they missed a better opportunity.

.02
You make a horrible case. You're teaching people to shrink instead of excel. It's a pathetic viewpoint.

I'm glad Coach Ken Carter didn't have the same attitude as you do.

 

specklebang

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Well first, the thread title made me think you would be talking about my mother-in-law so I, too, am disappointed in this story; and

Second, it is a dumb set up anyway. They should have multiple winners and categories if they desire to encourage students to read. Boy/girl; fiction/non-fiction; longest book, most history; etc.
I'm not arguing that. I'm just saying building character is valuable for young people also. These are formative years. They already know the kids a winner.
Nope. Fisher nailed it.

Otherwise, another solution might be that after X number of wins, one is a retired champion. But really? Fisher's got it right.
You make a horrible case. You're teaching people to shrink instead of excel. It's a pathetic viewpoint.

I'm glad Coach Ken Carter didn't have the same attitude as you do.

Ladies and Gentlemen and Others. In no way have I disagreed that the Library handled this in the stupidest possible way.

I think it would have been nice if the winning family had offered to do this. It would have been a good experience for this obviously bright kid to develop in other ways. Many geniuses have poor social skills and are later self-deprived of a normal life with friendships. Maybe they would have if the Library had been intelligent enough to simply ask instead of attempting to bureaucracy their way out of the problem.

And yes, Fisher is even MORE correct than I am but when someone takes the best position, the rest of us have to make do with what we have left. Fisher is often right but I can't let myself be defeated by HIS genius. I even managed to irritate Gipper AKA "Coach Carter" and that alone is worth the price of the ticket.


FISHER LIKED MY POST! SEE - GRACIOUSNESS
 
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