SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Thousands of Lane County students read their way into a book battle. Saturday the teams went head to head for a shot at a Battle of the Books state competition.
Since the start of the school year, kids became experts on more than a dozen books and competed against other teams within their school. Saturday the best teams from their schools went head to head in the regional competition.
For students competing in the Battle of the Books, a question on a book is something they could answer in just a matter of seconds. “We practiced, we read a lot,” said Maya Hampton, Walterville Elementary School student.
“They agree to read 16 books in common with kids all over the state and these extra books. So these are 16 books that they aren’t assigned in school,” said Paul Weill, Springfield School District curriculum coordinator.
The students battling in the classrooms at Thurston High School have been training for this competition for several months.
“These are teams that won the school battles, so they were champions in their schools, so they battled it out with lots of kids to get here,” said Weill.
For the Walterville Elementary School team, they had to recruit a new member for the competition. “He was on another team before, but then we needed an alternate and so he took a test and he got on our team,” said Hampton.
Walterville was just one of the 48 teams competing, all trying to finish in the top three to go to the state competition. Even though many of the teams didn’t make it past Saturday’s competition, the incentive to read was worth every minute.
“Kids are reading a lot and they get excited about books which is really important because reading motivation is as important as the instructions of reading for kids to be successful and move on with their academic careers,” said Weill.
The three teams that qualified for state at the competition were the O’Hara Catholic School, Edgewood Elementary School, and Ridgeline Elementary School.