BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
With a rain storm outside, a battle of books raged inside Springfield Plains Elementary, March 14.
The Rockin’ Readers of Pine Knob Elementary emerged the 2019 champions in the district-wide Battle of the Books competition out of the 15-team field, after earning a perfect 20-out-of-20 score.
The Reading Rebels, another team from Pine Knob, took second place, while The Team That Couldn’t Come Up With A Name So They Came Up With The Team That Couldn’t Come Up With A Name, a team from Independence Elementary, placed third.
During the competition, which was held in the gym, administrators asked questions and the teams of 3-5 students in fourth- and fifth-grade had 45 seconds to write their answer on a dry-erase board. The judge would go around to each team and award one point or no points based on the answer.
The Rockin’ Readers, comprised of Emma Nanzer, Cece Schemmel, Chloe Trotter, and coach Beth Nanzer, also won first place at their school battle the week prior with another perfect score of 20 questions answered correctly.
Also at the district competition, Springfield Plains’ Do-Read-O’s won best costume, and Bailey Lake Elementary’s Read Estate Agents won best team name.
“It was an awesome battle and the girls worked super hard,” said Beth Nanzer, parent and coach. “Words cannot express how proud I am of the girls. From the moment the book titles were released, they were dedicated as a team to do their very best. They read all of the books, some of them twice, took notes on what they read and shared them with each other during team meetings.”
They requested additional weekly team meetings during their lunch and recess hour and used Quizlet to supplement their reading notes, Nanzer said.
“As a parent and coach, the most rewarding aspect was to see their friendship grow and how they supported one another,” she said. “This was truly a team effort and a great team to work with.”
The books the students had to read included The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis, Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff, Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble, The Problem with the Puddles by Kate Feiffer, The Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1: Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, and Who is Jeff Kinney? by Patrick Kinney.
Individual school competitions were the week of March 4. The top two teams from each school qualified for the district competition. The competition at Andersonville Elementary ended in a tie for second place, so three teams represented Andersonville at the district competition.
“Reading is extremely important to our children’s education and development,” Nanzer said. “If we can get them excited about reading through competitions like this, then we are motivating them to want to read and become fluent readers and providing them with tools they need to succeed in life. Knowledge is power, and books are full of it.”