So we read some more, asked some questions, did some research, and finally learned that it's a special thing for 2nd graders in Texas. Not all schools participate, but some do - and this was Burleson ISD's first year. A Reading Bee is a competition in which each child reads a passage in front of judges, and is scored on accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. They keep reading passages on higher and higher reading levels until there is a clear winner. Each school has a Reading Bee (in Stribling's case they just took the child with the highest reading test scores), each of those winners competes in a District Reading Bee, and then the district champion gets to go on to compete at the Regional Level. Very cool. Yes, of course you can do this, Conner! We're so proud of you!
Conner was later awarded a medal for being Stribling Elementary's Champion. And Conner's teacher sent home a book full of passages for him to practice reading. We tried to practice for a little while every night. Then on the night before the district competition, we had our own little practice Reading Bee. Micah, Josiah, BooBoo, and I were the judges. Conner read two passages to us, and did a fantastic job. On a scale of 1 to 10, Judge Micah even gave him a score of 5000! :)
We anxiously awaited news of the results. And we were thrilled to hear that Conner was the Runner-Up! Of all the 2nd graders in Burleson, he was one of the top two readers! His job would be an important one - he would need to continue to practice for a couple of weeks in case something happened and the District Champion was not able to represent Burleson at the Regional Competition. (During those weeks we had some important talks about why we really didn't need to be praying for the other kid to be sick... ;)
Finally, today was the day. And the phone never rang...which meant that all was well with the other kid. But Conner was still so anxious and excited, we asked if we could please come and at least watch the opening ceremonies, even though he wouldn't get to read. If nothing else, maybe we could take a little tour of the TCU campus (where it was being held) and make a morning of it.
Conner did get to meet Clifford...
...and after shedding a few tears when the opening ceremonies were finally over, we set out to walk around TCU. The boys can't wait to go to college - their daddy has informed them that college is all about playing soccer in the halls and taking whatever classes you want to. And since there really wasn't a good photo op at the Reading Bee, we decided to take a few at the Student Center.