RVC students see the ‘Light’ as top readers


Three Rockville Centre elementary schools finished among the top 10 in a national reading competition and three of its students were among the top readers in the country, according to

The schools were among the roughly 600 nationwide that participated in the LightSail 25 Reading Challenge from Jan. 9 to Feb. 10. LightSail is an online literacy library that encourages students to read by giving them relevant and appropriate texts, all while measuring their reading improvement. Students can choose from over 80,000 non-fiction and fiction passages and take in-text assessments as they read the book.

Eligible schools must be LightSail subscribers located in the United States and have at least 25 students who are “active users” during the contest period. Qualifying schools with the three highest number of minutes read divided by the number of total active users (total minutes read divided by the total number of active users participating at the school) all won prizes.

Riverside Elementary School finished third in the nation at 1,028 minutes per participant and received $1,000 worth of ebooks and other prizes. Floyd B. Watson School was just behind them in fourth with 949 minutes and Francis F. Wilson School placed seventh at 753.

There were nearly 16,000 students across the country who participated in the challenge. Among them, Riverside fifth-grader Amauri Mezquita-Robinson finished third in the country by reading 5,553 minutes. Colleen Murphy, another fifth-grader at Riverside, was eighth with 4,024 minutes and Watson fifth-grader Matthew Mata placed tenth with 3,890 minutes.

“I was excited,” said Mezquita-Robinson. “One day, I read 86 minutes and that kind of inspired me to read more.”

Other students who finished in the top 100 in the country included Katherine Ahern, Matthew Arnott, Sophia Bracco, Brady Callahan, James Curran, Erica Flaherty, James Giangregorio, Katherine Graci, Alan Lin, John Medidha, Daniel Mendez, Matthew Monroy and Daniel Schieck.