This years event will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019
Reading takes place in the morning at Arroyo Grande High School in the 900 Wing (also known as the “math wing”) located at 900 Orchard Ave, Arroyo Grande
History of the Ned Van Norman Sight Read Aloud Contest
The Sight Read Aloud Contest began in the late 1980’s as the Nanny Britt Sight Read Aloud. Nanny Britt, whose real name was Pat Whitaker, created a children’s reading program which she hosted on radio and television. The reading competition was an extension of her program.
The Kiwanis Club of Greater Pismo Beach became an early sponsor of the contest by offering to help organize and fund the event. When Nanny Britt moved out of the area a couple of years later, the event was in danger of folding.
However, with the encouragement of Dr. Ned Van Norman, then President of the Greater Pismo Beach Kiwanis, the Kiwanis members voted to carry on the tradition of Ned’s favorite club project. Ned continued to serve as chairman of the event for several years. When Dr. Van Norman passed away in 1992 at the age of 40, the club renamed the contest in his honor.
Kids, parents and teachers must share Ned’s fondness for the oral reading contest. Last year almost 300 kids participated in the event!
Entrants are notified by e-mail when their assigned reading time is. A monitor will greet them outside the classroom and will escort them into the classroom and introduce them to the judges. The monitor will hand them a short reading selection that is grade appropriate and the kids are allowed to look over the selection until they are comfortable with it. Then they read the selection to the judges. The selections take 1-2 minutes to read. The judges score each presentation for clarity, expression, pace, pronunciation and overall presentation with each category worth 100 points.
All entrants receive a certificate of participation and a certificate for an ice cream cone. There are cookies for the kids (50 dozen cookies last year!) and we try to make it a fun event while encouraging reading and oral presentation.
The top two readers in each grade receive a $50 certificate. The top ten readers in each grade receive medals. First thru third place public schools receive trophies and all participating schools receive a donation of $200 for their library.