The Waldinger Cup has been given out for the past six years. Yet the trophy, which signifies success in the Henry Waldinger Memorial Library’s annual summer reading program, has only made it to two schools.
Clear Stream Avenue School in District 30 repeated as champions this year. It earned the most points — 534 to be exact — which is determined by the number of students who sign up for the summer reading program, number of books they read, number of library programs they attended and participation in contests.
Last year, Clear Stream Avenue broke Wheeler Avenue School’s string of four straight wins. The District 13 elementary school won every year from 2007 when the cup was first awarded to 2010. Wheeler finished second this year with 386 points.
The theme for the summer reading program this year was “Dream Big, Read!” Children had to read a certain number of books, depending on their age, to successfully complete the program. They were then invited to a final performance.
Library Director Mamie Eng said the point system is designed to give all schools, regardless of size, the chance to win the cup. Based on student population, Clear Stream is mid-sized among Valley Stream’s 11 public and parochial elementary schools.
John Singleton, principal of Clear Stream Avenue, said he was pleased to keep the cup at his school for another year. “We are very happy that our students are taking literacy very seriously,” he said, “and continue to read throughout the summer. We’ll be happy to compete with any school in the district or outside of the district for the cup for next year.”
Eng said it is Singleton’s enthusiasm that helped win Clear Stream Avenue the cup. “The principal has made it a goal for the school,” she said. “He really advocated for this.”
She explained that having the school principals behind the summer reading program really makes it successful. Eng added that she would like to see the competition continue and perhaps even have more schools in the mix for the Waldinger Cup next year.