Today.com is one of several outlets reporting on this story, which is about a nine-year-old New Yorker who is being asked to withdraw from his library’s summer reading contest to give another child a chance at winning.
“After Tyler Weaver read 63 books between June 24 and Aug. 3 to win this year’s Dig Into Reading competition at the Hudson Falls Public Library, director Marie Gandron told a reporter from the Glens Falls Post-Star that Weaver ‘hogs’ the contest every year and should ‘step aside.”
“Other kids quit because they can’t keep up,” Gandron said.
Tyler has read over 300 books since beginning his participation in kindergarten, and his brother has been the runner-up for two years as well. The library has proposed changing the system to draw a winner out of a hat so that all participating children have an equal chance, but Tyler’s parents have the support of at least one other librarian, quoted in the article, who said that if Tyler is truly the one who is most deserving, he should win the prize.
“My feeling is you work, you get it,’’ Casey said. “That’s just the way it is in anything. My granddaughter started working on track in grade school and ended up being a national champ. Should she have backed off and said, ‘No, somebody else should win?’ I told [Gandron], but she said it’s not a contest, it’s the reading club and everybody should get a chance.”
Personally, I can see both sides of this situation. But ultimately, I think the fault has to lie with the grown-ups. I have learned as a teacher that you should never give kids an option if you aren’t prepared for them to take you up on it. If this kid wants to win so badly that he’s willing to read 50 books compared to the 10-book minimum the article says you need to qualify for the end-of-summer party, then more power to him. You don’t want him to win anymore, then fine, change the parameters of the contest. But if you’re dumb enough to tell his parents that he’s why you’re doing it, then you should expect the backlash.