Students read their way to victory in a valley-wide "Bookopoly" reading competition

High school students across the valley recently participated in a reading competition, battling to become champions of the first-ever “Bookopoly” contest. Students from Green Canyon, Logan, Ridgeline, and Sky View High Schools invested many hours as they tried to read the most books of a certain genre, complete challenges, and get excited about reading. After a tight competition, Sky View earned the most points, winning the competition, with Green Canyon and Ridgeline coming in a close second and third, respectively. In total, a collective 1,658 books were read for a whopping total of 135,167,122 words!


Valley-wide reading competitions like Bookopoly were started three years ago by Sky View teacher Marty Reeder. He established these competitions to encourage students to get involved and excited about reading. “This shows that reading is not a chore,” Reeder said. “Sports get competitive and people get involved, and we are doing this with reading. It makes it a team thing and gets students to read new things outside of their comfort zone.”


The objective of Bookopoly is to advance through the Bookopoly board within the given time frame by reading books that apply to each genre specified in those squares. Almost every day from January 31st to Spring Break, there is a Bookopoly square indicating a new genre of books to read. These genres range from mystery and sports to romance and social issues. 


Each school tallies how many books in that genre its students read before that day, and the school with the largest word count receives a hotel on that square. Second place earns two houses and third place earns one house. Each of these hotels and houses has a point system attached. At the end of the game, the winner was the school with the most points. 


Ridgeline staff member reading


Along with the daily chance cards and rest days, there are “chance card” days where schools participate in reading-related challenges. Students at Green Canyon recorded an original Bookopoly Theme Song. Ridgeline High took a picture of a custodian reading a book. Sky View students ordered books at fast-food drive-throughs. These and many other challenges help schools move along the game circuit. 


Green Canyon librarian Kim Bagley said that this competition not only got students excited about reading, but it gave some a place to feel included and accepted. “Whether it is an avid reader who completes multiple book series, or a student who needs to read a nonfiction book for their English class, there is something for everyone,” she said. “Reading is so important; reading helps us figure out who we are and who we want to become.”


student reading outside


student reading outside


Other campaigns started by Reeder, such as “Reading on Vacation,” motivate students to always read and continue their learning, no matter where they may be. During the “Reading on Vacation” competition, students were incentivized to send pictures of themselves reading while on school break. “It was fun to take pictures while reading outside,” explained Clayton, a student. “I probably wouldn’t have brought a book with me on our camping trip otherwise! Mr. Reeder’s competitions bring reading to the next level.”