03/16/11 — Battle of the Books competition to be held Thursday

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Battle of the Books competition to be held Thursday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 16, 2011 1:46 PM

Middle school students around the county will test their reading skills on Thursday, as Wayne County Public Schools hosts its 25th annual Battle of the Books competition.

The quiz bowl-like event pits teams against each other as rounds of questions are asked about the 27 books chosen by a statewide committee for students to read. The competition, for grades 6-8, tests their comprehension of the books.

The contest will be held in the Goldsboro High School auditorium beginning at 9 a.m. The public is invited.

As the day moves along, elimination rounds whittle down the competitors until a winner emerges.

When the event was first introduced locally 25 years ago, three teams participated. Last year there were nine schools involved.

Norwayne Middle School won the 2010 local event and went on to place second in the regional contest.

This year, seven teams are entered, representing Brogden, Dillard, Greenwood, Mount Olive, Norwayne, Rosewood and Spring Creek middle schools.

Officials say the contest promotes reading comprehension, a fundamental tool needed in every subject area and grade level.

"Our district offers many activities throughout the school year to promote literacy," said Olivia Pierce, WCPS executive director for information/technology services. "Battle of the Books is unique in that this popular competition has participating students preparing months in advance under the guidance of their school's media coordinator to master and absorb the content of their required readings.

"In addition, students also work to sharpen their reading comprehension skills through practice competitions held in their school's media center."