Berthoud Elementary and Ivy Stockwell proudly joined forces for their first combined Battle of the Books last Sat., April 12. Nearly 100 elementary students participated, with children from grades three, four and five from both schools. The Battle of the Books was a lively and brainy collaboration of hard-working students and enthusiastic teachers and volunteers.
“Anytime the Berthoud community comes together it’s a good thing,” Ivy Stockwell Principal Rick Bowles said, “Even the staff gets together from both schools throughout the year to do fun things together. The two schools working together on this is great.”
Since October, students from both schools have been preparing for the upcoming “battle.” The school district provided the participating students with a list of 12 books from which the content for the Battle of the Books questions would be drawn. The students read the books, learning the titles, authors and content to prepare for the competition.
Parents volunteered to coordinate individual teams, each with five to six children. According to Gail Schumacher, a volunteer at Ivy Stockwell, this is the first year the schools are working together on this program. “Instead of doing the district-wide Battle of the Books, the schools decided to keep things local and just battle together,” Schumacher said.
On April 12, third-grade students and parents gathered at Ivy Stockwell at 9 a.m. to kick off the competition. Specific classrooms were designated for battles, and each team competed in two rounds. Lynne Fossey, Ivy Stockwell’s librarian, managed the event and, after instructing the students on the rules and details, said that one trophy would be given to a third-grade team and one would be given to a fourth/fifth-grade team as well, which will go to the winning team’s library.
“The person who has put an insane amount of effort into this is Lynne Fossey,” said Bowles.
During the event there were 24 questions in each round about various books, with questions such as “In which book does Charlotte help save Wilbur's life by showing what a special pig he is?” The team’s captain would share the answer decided on by the team, which included the title and author of the book. They had to give an answer in a timed format, and if they guessed incorrectly the other team could have a chance to answer it. Points were awarded for each of the 24 questions that were answered correctly and then added up at the end of the round to determine the winner.
After a tie-breaking final battle between the teams Book Brainiacs and The Reading Mighty Minions, the Ivy Stockwell team Book Brainiacs won the battle with much excitement. The third-grade winners were Jackson Riffell, Anna Garcia, Mollie Davidson, Ronnie Moss and Kenya Clarkson.
“Since November we’ve been practicing,” said Kellie Davidson, Book Brainiacs team leader.
From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the combined fourth and fifth graders battled their way through books like “Ralph S. Mouse,” by Beverly Cleary. The students had fun during the battle, competing with intense concentration and teamwork. The winners of this battle were the Book Dynasty team of Berthoud Elementary. Students Peter Bullet, Emma Tartaglia, Armondo Miramontes, Gretchen Marty and Melissa Kobus were happy to be able to hold the golden book trophy that they won at the conclusion of the challenge.
At the end of the morning’s event, Fossey thanked everyone involved for all of their efforts in making the event a success. She especially recognized the dedication shown by all the students who participated in the competition.
“Thank you to all the students for the work you’ve been doing all year. It’s not about winning or losing; it’s about the fellowship of working together,” said Fossey.