CHICAGO – Dianna Nielsen, Harneek Kapoor and Kenyan Gustafson were crowned national champions in the WrestleMania® 29 Reading Challenge on April 6, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, and WWE®.
Nielsen, a resident of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., representing the Boyle Road Elementary School, successfully defeated the competition in the grades 5-6 competition by answering the most questions correctly about the Edwards Award-winning book "Over Sea, Under Stone," by Susan Cooper. Other regional finalists in the grade 5-6 competition were Fiona Woolley, Galway-Cavendish-Harvey, Ontario, Canada; Angelina Manfredini, Westchester, Ill.; Estevan Morales, Syracuse, N.Y.; Joshua Bendle, Quinton, Pa.; and Autumn Dudley, San Diego.
Kapoor lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and represented the Terry Fox School. He won the 7-8 competition through his knowledge of the book "Chronicles of Harris Burdick," by Chris Van Allsburg. Other regional finalists in the grade 7-8 competition were Yesenia Castelan, Whiting, Ind.; Fenesse Walker, Rochester, N.Y.; Marc Ortiz, Ramon Pons, Bridgeport, Conn.; and Frankie Sindelar, Billings, Mont.
Gustafson, a resident of Sleepy Hollow, IL, represented the Dundee Library. In the grade 9-12 finals, she correctly answered the most questions on the book "This Dark Endeavor," by Kenneth Oppel. Other regional finalists in the grade 9–12 competition were Kazek Israni-Winger, Oakville, Ontario, Canada; Benjamin Havel, Gloversville, N.Y.; Joanna Wallace, Hopewell, Va.; Javier Llantin Cruz, Bridgeport, Conn.; and Rose Gonzalez, San Diego.
In addition to being named national champions, Nielsen, Kapoor and Gustafson won ringside seats to WrestleMania 29 at MetLife Stadium on April 7, 2013. Eighteen regional winners in grades 5–12 from across the United States and Canada came to East Rutherford, N.J. as the guests of WWE. The national finals took place at City College in New York, NY the day before WrestleMania.
More information on the WrestleMania Reading Challenge can be found at www.ala.org/wrestlemania.
For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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WWE’s global community outreach programs address important social issues, including education, diversity and inclusion, military support and fulfilling wishes and dreams. WWE and its Superstars and Divas support a wide range of programs, partners and initiatives that strive to positively impact children and families worldwide, including the “Be a STAR” anti-bullying campaign, WrestleMania Reading Challenge, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Make-A-Wish, WWE Tribute to the Troops and many more. For more information log onto www.WWECommunity.com
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