03/18/07 — Students battle to be best in reading trivia competition

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Students battle to be best in reading trivia competition

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 18, 2007 2:00 AM

Wayne County Public Library hosted its first elementary level "Battle of the Books" competition on Friday pitting fourth- and fifth-graders from four elementary schools against one another.

Competition was fierce, said Shorlette Ammons-Stephens, children's librarian, with only nine points separating the first- and fourth-place teams.

Rosewood Elementary School's team, coached by Jennifer Taylor, Josie David and Laura Alley, were the champions.

Spring Creek Elementary, coached by Karen Barkhurst and Nancy Lancaster, placed second, followed by Eastern Wayne Elementary and Brogden Primary in third and fourth places, respectively.

Eastern Wayne's coaches were Catherine Anderson and Dawn d'Hemecourt. Joette Stoner and Tori Sumner coached the Brogden students.

Similar "Battle of the Books" events have been held for years at the middle school level. Students are given a list of books to read in advance and then quizzed on the material.

The N.C. School Library Media Association chose and recommended 12 age-appropriate books for the students to read, Ms. Ammons-Stephens said.

Four players at a time competed during each round of questioning, she said, but each school could have up to 12 students participating.

The idea for the library to host the event for the elementary schools was prompted by a suggestion from Jennifer Taylor, media coordinator at Rosewood Elementary.

"We just thought it was a great opportunity to support kids that are really trying hard and enjoyed reading," Ms. Ammons-Stephens said.

"Hopefully, it will be a growing process and more schools will compete next time."

In a series of rounds, the field was narrowed down to the top two teams, who then played for the championship round and title. Beyond the reward of literacy itself, Ms. Ammons-Stephens said participants also received certificates and trophies were given to the winning team.

"It was a huge success," she said. "The turnout was tremendous. Parents representing each of the schools showed up in full force to support their children, and the students did a wonderful job in preparing for the competition."