The classic David vs. Goliath story that played out on the overall leaderboards in July is a reminder that any school, any size, can triumph in the Vocabulary Bowl.

We're not saying it's easy, but it's possible — especially when that school has an enduring  commitment to word learning that does not wane, ever in the summer months. At St. Vincent de Paul, a K-8 Catholic school in Houston, has been a core component of the middle school summer reading program for years.

Leading the charge at SVDP is ELA teacher Kathy Zimbaldi, who for the past few summers has assigned pre-made resources from our List Library that are related to class readings so that rising 6th - 8th graders can get a leg up on the content they'll encounter in the upcoming school year. How smart is that? The students are better prepared, and the teachers can ramp up so much more quickly. Everybody wins in this arrangement, which also happens to have resulted in a Vocabulary Bowl win as well.

We here at root for every school, but it's always fun to tout what makes any given victory special. In July, it was a classic David vs. Goliath story. For a while there, Francis Lewis High School in New York had a strong lead on the overall words mastered leaderboard. With an enrollment of over 4,000 that spans grades 9 - 12, it looked like St. Vincent de Paul's chances for another summer win were not very good. After all, with only 470 students in their entire school, and far fewer in grades 6 - 8, the shear numbers were not in SVDP's favor.

But slowly and steadily SVDP crept up the ranks, and on July 31st snagged their 5th Champions Banner and their 24th Texas Top 10 achievement. So their sizzling summer streak continues, and with school back in session in two weeks, it'll be exciting to watch those leaderboards in August.