WrestleMania Reading Challenge Finalists on their Way to Orlando to compete for National Championship

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March 13, 2008

CHICAGO -- The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), and World Wrestling Entertainment ï€Â today announced the 10 regional finalists who will compete to become this year's national WrestleMania Reading Challenge Champion.

Each finalist won airfare, hotel, and spending cash for two to Orlando, tickets to WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando on March 30, 2008, $2,000 for their local or school library and a chance to compete in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge finals on March 29 at the Orlando Public Library.

This year's regional finalists are in two categories, grades 7-8 and grades 9-12.  Finalists in the grades 7-8 category are:

  • Chris Thompson, Cave City, Ky., from LeGrande Elementary
  • Laquan Deen, Homestead, Pa., from Carnegie Library of Homestead
  • Emily Hardy, Seattle, Wash., from McClure Middle School
  • Beau Snoad, Napolean, Ohio, from Napoleon Middle School Library
  • David Silva, Orlando, Fla., from Orlando Public Library
     
    Finalists in the grades 9-12 category are:
  • Zacary Harper, Lake Wales, Fla., from Lake Wales Public Library
  • Ajoura Gwinn, Munhall, Pa., from Carnegie Library of Homestead
  • Amber Dales, Des Moines, Iowa, from Southeast Polk High School
  • Arun Natarajan, Hicksville, N.Y., from Hicksville Public Library
  • Kady Marie Peters, Orlando, Fla., from Orlando Public Library 

The WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by YALSA, asked students in grades 7-12 to read 10 books between the start of Teen Read Week on October 14, 2007, and January 14, 2008.  Each participant was required to submit a short reading log that described the books and magazines that had been read. Participants were then required to submit a short essay on the topic, "Why WrestleMania Got Me Reading." The winning entry from each library was submitted to YALSA and five regional finalists were chosen in grades 7-8 and grades 9-12 categories to be national finalists.

"Partnering with WWE provides YALSA the chance to reach a wide audience of teens with a message about the vital role books, reading and libraries can play in their lives," said YALSA President Paula Brehm-Heeger. "The WrestleMania Reading Challenge is a great way to highlight teens' learning, accomplishments and, after discovering all of the great titles they've read for the Challenge, their knowledge of teen literature!"

"There are several championships on the line at WrestleMania, but the excitement in Orlando starts a day early as these 10 teens put it all on the line in their respective finals to see who will become the 2008 WrestleMania Reading Challenge Champion," said Gary Davis, WWE's Vice President, Corporate Communications.

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