Wednesday, January 22, 2014

La Jolla High students top reading and analysis competition

La Jolla High School students have won highest honors in this year's WordWright Challenge, a national competition for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry.

Students at the school who won highest individual honors in the meet included sophomore Clayton Halbert and junior Enzo Serafino, who both earned perfect scores, and junior Geneva Kotler. The trio's teacher is Jewel Weien.

More than 69,000 students from 596 school teams from across the country. The La Jolla High team placed fifth in the most recent meet of the 2013-14 season, held in December.

The WordWright Challenge is a national reading competition for students in grades 9 through 12 that requires analytical reading of many kinds of prose and poetry. It emphasizes perceptive interpretation, sensitivity to language, and an appreciation of style. More than 54,000 students from some of the best public and private high schools in 46 states and four foreign nations participated last year.

The premise behind the WordWright Challenge is that attentive reading and sensitivity to language are among the most important skills students can acquire in school. The texts students must analyze for the Challenge can range from short fiction by Eudora Welty or John Steinbeck, to poetry as old as Shalkespere's or as recent as Margaret Atwood's, and to essays as classic as E.B. White's or as current as a Time opinion piece by James Poniewozik.

The texts for the second WordWright meet this year were an op-ed piece from the New York Times for ninth and 10th graders. Grades 11-12 handled an excerpt from a novel from Anthony Trollope.
For more information on the programs at La Jolla High, contact Weien at