A team from Auckland North Shore’s Belmont Intermediate has today triumphed over more than 2000 competitors to win the title of Kids’ Lit Quiz 2018 New Zealand champions.
Sixteen teams of New Zealand’s best super-readers battled it out in the riveting tension-filled national final at the National Library, Wellington.
Today’s event was the culmination of a series of heats around the country which saw more than 2000 competitors aged 10 to 13 whittled down to 16 teams of four.
In second place was a team from Columba College, Dunedin, and in third place a team from Eskdale School in Napier.
As national champions of the Kids’ Lit Quiz, which is supported by the Wright Family Foundation, Whitcoulls, South Pacific Books and Softlink, the Belmont Intermediate team has earned the chance to represent New Zealand at the event’s World Final, to be held in Auckland on July 4. Teams from nine countries will vie for the title of Kids’ Lit Quiz World Champions 2018.
Kids’ Lit Quiz Patron Chloe Wright, who presented the Kids’ Lit Quiz trophy to the winning team, says the quiz encourages a love of reading and a vivid imagination, opening the door to education and possibilities.
‘OECD research shows that reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success. It’s an even more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background,’ says Chloe, who is CEO of the Wright Family Foundation.
‘Reading also helps kids develop empathy and emotional intelligence, which is well documented as an indicator of successful relationships and success in the workplace.’
Quizmaster Wayne Mills says this year’s competition – known as the “sport of reading” for its competitive edge – was intense.
‘The categories and the questions at today’s national final were all unknown to the teams, therefore their reading has had to have been extensive. The Belmont Intermediate team’s literary knowledge was comprehensive and all-encompassing. I’m sure they’ll do New Zealand proud at the World Final next month.’
Wayne founded the competition in New Zealand 27 years ago with the aim of encouraging children to read widely, increasing their vocabulary and expanding their knowledge of the past, present and future.
It has since grown to 13 countries including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA, with more than 8000 children taking part worldwide. This year Indonesia competed for the first time, with Nigeria and Thailand set to take part in 2019.
New Zealand teams have a sterling record on the world stage, winning five of the 14 international finals.
Originally published by Booksellers, 11 June 2018.