Books were flying open and pages were turning with haste at the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) recently, as students from nine districts participated in the regional Battle of the Books. The event was hosted by the OCM BOCES School Library System at the OCM BOCES Main Campus on April 12.
This is the first year OCM BOCES has hosted Battle of the Books, a reading incentive that encourages students to read from a list of 10 books. The books were selected for specific grade levels by a committee of librarians from the OCM BOCES region.
Students in Grades 3-8 participated in the event, with the competition broken into different grade levels: Grades 3-4, Grades 5-6, and Grades 7-8. Seventeen teams participated from nine districts: Cazenovia, Chittenango, Cincinnatus, Cortland, DeRuyter, East Syracuse Minoa, Fabius-Pompey, LaFayette, and North Syracuse.
“The idea of competing at the regional level, across all of our districts, really appealed to us,” said OCM BOCES School System Librarian Allison Comes. The team was also inspired by the success of the Battle of the Books competition at the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation, the BOCES in Oswego County.
Students spent weeks preparing for the competition, reading from the 10 selected books. During this time, they were also encouraged to study the books, learning each book’s title, author and illustrator. During the competition, students had to listen to a fact or scenario, then name the book and author it came from. After the competition, students were given a medal for their participation, and the winning teams received a plaque to display at their home districts.
The winners for the first Battle of the Books were:
- Grades 3-4: Cicero Elementary School from North Syracuse
- Grades 5-6: Grimshaw Elementary School from LaFayette
- Grades 7-8: Chittenango Middle School from Chittenango
At the conclusion of the event, when asked if they would participate again next year, students let out a resounding cheer. Congratulations to the participants and winners of the Regional Battle of the Books at OCM BOCES!