Alexis, left, and Catherine Augustyn, fourth and fifth graders at Leonard Lawrence Elementary School, participated in the first virtual Operation Read for Bellevue Public Schools.

The coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop Bellevue Public Schools from expressing its love for literature.

The district’s annual Operation Read was hosted online so students could earn a certificate for reading and answering questions on books they’ve read all year.

Every year, the district’s fourth through sixth graders participate in a district-wide reading competition, where students read the 10 Golden Sower books read throughout the year in teams.

At the end of the competition, the teams compete at the Lied Activity Center for a chance to answer questions pertaining to the book and win a prize.

Kari Schroder, Bellevue West High School’s librarian and the district library facilitator, said it was important to host Operation Read in some form this year.

“We wanted to honor the work the kids did,” she said. “We wanted to do something the kids were excited about and celebrate literacy.”

Though not in teams as usual, students answered multiple choice questions via a Google Documents form to see how well they could do virtually. Students were given a certificate for completing the questionnaire.

While the usual turnout for Operation Read is around 200 students, Schroder said she was pleased with the 45 students who participated virtually.

“Kids started practicing with their teams and coaches this year and have been working up to it all year,” she said. “It went really well and I felt thankful for the kids who participated.”

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