Gerard Elementary’s Loralai Rose will be among the top second grade readers from across north Texas competing at Saturday’s Reading Bee Championships taking place in Fort Worth.
Rose earned the opportunity to represent Cleburne as the winner of the District Reading Bee competition held November 7. The contest involved second grade champions from every CISD campus including Grayson Rigoulot-Coleman Elementary; Anna Bushong-C.C. Cooke; Kira Pradarits-Adams; Viviana Leal Malone-Santa Fe; Camila Ozuna-Irving and MaryElle Treesh-Marti, who placed second as District Alternate.
Rose’s teacher, Tracy Humphreys, believes she will be quite competitive at Saturday’s event, as she goes up against fellow reading champions. The annual competition, exclusive to second graders, involves an oral reading assessment in which participants are paired with a judge in which they read selected passages from published books and stories, which gradually progress in difficulty, reflecting the student’s ability to read at and above grade level. The Reading Bee judge tabulates the time taken by the contestant to read each passage, while also assessing their comprehension of what they read, their fluency rate and accuracy in pronouncing words.
Cleburne’s 2016 District Champion Emerson O’Toole, now in the third grade at Coleman, was the bronze medalist at last year’s north Texas Reading Bee.
“I felt Loralai had a great chance of being our District Champion this year, not only because she is a good reader, but also because she comprehends what she reads,” Humphreys said. “She has developed that maturity level in her reading. Reading is just natural for her. She is still a kid, with a child’s heart, but with the ability to read at a higher level.”
“I think she will do very well on Saturday,” Humphreys said. “She takes everything very seriously, so I assure you she will be on and ready to give her best. She is a strong reader, and everything she does is done with joy, so it’s going to be a great day for her.”
It’s also going to be a busy day for Rose, as that evening she will be performing in the Carnegie Players’ production of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” as one of the three mice. She read the C.S. Lewis book long before she was cast in the play—and says she loved it.
“I loved the book, I’ve seen the movie and now I’m in the play,” Rose said. “I plan to go back and read the second book, ‘Prince Caspian,’ and then will go on and read the whole series.”
Rose says she can’t remember a time when she didn’t read, commenting that she’s pretty sure the skill was developed when she was a baby.
Her mother, Dr. Lori Rose, credits Loralai’s older sister, Madi, who is in the fifth grade at Gerard, for teaching her.
“She began reading around three or four, thanks to Madi,” Lori Rose said. “Loralai picked up the skill rapidly, and has had a book in her hand ever since. There is no book she doesn’t love, and we keep having to buy more bookshelves to support her accumulation of reading material.”
The second grader said she likes to get into books—and she loves finding those she really likes.
“It’s so interesting when you finally find a book you like,” Loralai said. “I like any kind of book. If there’s a book to read, I’ll read it—if I like it. I just like to read, that’s why I’m excited to be in this contest.”
She also suspects she will be a little nervous, just as she was at the District contest. She describes the combination of excitement and nerves as “nervecitement.”
“At the District contest, my legs were shaking,” Loralai said. “They’ll probably do that again, but I think I’ll be more into it this time.”
“Reading is important,” she said. “It helps you learn. Without books and reading skills you wouldn’t know how to do anything. Reading helps you and shows you how to do things. “
As a 21st century learner, technology is also a part of her world and she does enjoy screen time to play a game or look at YouTube or Netflix. But she prefers to read from a book.
“I have two whole shelves filled with books,” she said. “If I have a chance to read, I will. It’s my favorite subject at school--that and writing. There’s nothing I like better. I think everyone knows that about me.”
Rose plans to share her love for reading with children when she grows up, perhaps as a teacher.
“I would like to read to children, to teach them how to read,” she said. “I might be a reading teacher, or start a restaurant. I want to start an ice cream shop and maybe work at Subway at the same time. I saw a video that said you get free cookies if you work there. And I like making sandwiches.”
No matter what she chooses to do in life, Loralai said it will involve helping others.
“I love helping people,” she said. “It’s my duty.”
As for Saturday’s Reading Bee, she’s ready—despite the anticipated case of nervecitement.
“If I don’t win,” she said. “I’ll still be proud of me.”
Gerard Elementary’s Loralai Rose will be among the top second grade readers from public and private schools across north Texas competing in Saturday’s Reading Bee Championships in Fort Worth. Rose, Gerard’s Reading Bee champion, is representing CISD after winning the District contest.
CISD Reading Bee Champion Loralai Rose, right, and Alternate Mary Elle Treesh pose with their trophies following the District contest involving Reading Bee winners from each elementary campus.
Campus Reading Bee winners Grayson Rigoulot from Coleman Elementary, Anna Bushong from C.C. Cooke and Gerard and District Champion Lorali Rose were in attendance at the November 20 school board meeting where they were honored by Trustees and Superintendent Dr. Kyle Heath.