The Hardin Park School Gold team won the elementary grades championship in the Watauga County Schools Battle of the Books held Monday at the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University.
The Gold team includes Brayden Collins, Brielynn Myers, Sophia Park, Vivi Rushing, Lily Wilson, and Leila Zwetsloot. The team is coached by Hardin Park teachers Corrie Freeman and Emily Rothrock.
Although there is turnover among team members each year, it’s the third year in a row that Hardin Park Gold has won the WCS Battle of the Books. The team will now advance to the regional Battle of the Books in Hickory on April 12th.
Finishing second in Monday’s competition was the Mabel Blue team consisting of Keadon Anderson, Shelby Barker, Ethan Figlow, Faith Hodges, Kyle Hollars, Riley Hollars, Diane McGlamery, Katie Ward, and Madison Welch. The team was coached by Amanda Ward, the exceptional children teacher for grades K-5 at Mabel.
The Bethel White team and the Cove Creek White team tied for third place just one point behind Mabel Blue.
A total of 14 teams participated in the elementary grades Battle of the Books, which is for students in fourth and fifth grades. Each team plays every other team once in the competition and each round consists of 12 questions. The questions ask students to identify “in which book” a specific scene, event, or character appears. If a team provides the correct title and author of the book, they are awarded three points. If they miss, the other team can attempt to answer the question and win two points for a correct response. The winning team is determined on the basis of total points scored in all rounds combined.
Battle of the Books is a reading incentive program in which the elementary grade teams read the same 18 carefully selected books before the competition. A team can have up to 12 players and three to six players participate in each round. One student is designated to respond to each question for a team, but all team members participating in that round can discuss the response before the answer is given. The questions can ask about an unusual scene, such as “in which book does someone hear the prettiest music ever and notice that all of the animals are out of their cages?” or they can ask about a less distinctive moment, such as “in which book does a character rub her forehead like she’s having a migraine?’ The questions can also recall a moment of humor such as “in which book is there a character that looks like someone who flunked clown school?”
Battle of the Books is a team effort coordinated by Hardin Park Media Specialist Candice Trexler. She relies on the assistance of teachers and media specialists from all eight of the district’s K-8 schools and the additional support of 35 volunteers who help out as moderators, timekeepers, scorekeepers, and judges.
Trexler praised the volunteers for their essential role in Battle of the Books, stating that the event “absolutely could not happen without them.” She also thanked the Watauga Education Foundation (WEF) for their grant of $2,000 that helps pay for the books for each school and for travel expenses to regional competition. Another key supporter this year is Appalachian State University, which donated the use of two floors in the Reich College of Education building as well as free parking for the competition.
Trexler urged the community to support the WEF through their Flapjack Flip, held annually in December, and the Shooting Stars student talent show, which takes place May 6th in the Schaefer Performing Arts Center at ASU. “At this point in the year, we especially encourage everyone to plan on attending Shooting Stars and see the amazing artistic talents of students from all nine of our schools. That will be a wonderful evening to enjoy a great show and give back to the WEF for supporting our students and teachers.”
Trexler praises Battle of the Books for encouraging students to read, noting that “it’s an opportunity for students to participate in a team activity that offers a fun, competitive atmosphere while enhancing their reading skills and enjoying quality literature.”
Persons or organizations interested in supporting Battle of the Books can contact Candice Trexler at Hardin Park School, 264-8481.