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Expert readers compete in "SuperRegional Battle of the Books"


Expert readers compete in “SuperRegional Battle of the Books” 

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Hundreds of students across Central New York put their book smarts to the test in the recent “SuperRegional Battle of the Books,” a virtual quiz competition hosted by the School Library System (SLS) in Instructional Support Services (ISS).

“It was extremely exciting,” said SLS Librarian Heather Turner, who organized the virtual contest on March 25 and April 22 with help from the SLS team and other ISS staff.

Special guest readers included Assistant Superintendent for ISS Doreen Bergman, Midstate RBERN Coordinator Tanya Rosado-Barringer, and STEM Coordinator Christopher Leece.  

The “battle” requires a lot of reading and a year of planning. Each competitor has to read a selection of eight books. During the summer. librarians, teachers, and other educators read the books and generate questions, which all begin with the phrase, “In which book … ?”

In the fall, teams of up to four students compete against each other at the building, district, and “SuperRegional” levels. Only one team can represent each district at the “SuperRegional” for each grade band. The winners receive a traveling perpetual plaque and trophy for their school. Each participant receives an enamel lapel pin and certificate of participation. All competitions can be viewed on the SLS Youtube Channel.

In the first round of competition on March 25, 14 teams competed at the 7/8 grade levels from Central Square, Chittenango, DeRuyter, Fabius-Pompey, LaFayette, North Syracuse, Oswego City, Phoenix, Pulaski, Sandy Creek, West Genesee, Westhill, and Cincinnatus.

Turner said it was “a nail-biter, with a five-way tie for most of the competition.” In the end, Fulton's Red Raiders Readers Rebooted won with 140 points, missing only two questions

At the 9-12 grave level, teams from Pulaski, Chittenango, Phoenix, Sandy Creek, East-Syracuse Minoa, Mexico, Fabius-Pompey, and DeRuyter also competed in another “neck and neck” battle, Turner said. The winner was Sandy Creek's Roman Readers with 130 points. 

On April 22, the 3/4 and 5/6 SuperRegional Battles were held. Fourteen teams competed at the 3/4 level from Baldwinsville, Cazenovia, Cincinnatus, DeRuyter, East-Syracuse Minoa, Fulton, Hannibal, LaFayette, Marcellus, Mexico, Oswego, Phoenix, Pulaski, and Sandy Creek.

"It was an exciting battle that found all of the students cheering for each other," Turner said. "Teams supported each other throughout the competition and especially at the end when the winners were announced. A wonderful example of sportsmanship!"

In the end, Cazenovia’s The 4-Leaf Clovers came out on top with 150 points, missing only one question. 

At the 5/6 grade levels, teams from Baldwinsville, Cazenovia, Central Square, Chittenango, Cincinnatus, DeRuyter, Fabius-Pompey, Fulton, Hannibal, LaFayette, Marcellus, Mexico, Oswego, Phoenix, Pulaski, Sandy Creek, West Genesee, and Westhill competed.

"There were challenges galore," Turner said, "showing just how much engagement students had with their books. Not all challenges were successful, however, and students were really thinking about how to convince the judge of their interpretation of the question."

When this competition ended, the winner was East-Syracuse Minoa’s Spartans, who scored 150 points, missing only one question. 

In the photos above, Assistant Superintendent for ISS Doreen Bergman (far left corner) reads questions to students at the 3/4 level. In the middle photo, Heather Turner, SLS Teacher Librarian (far right), conducts the 5/6 battle with guest question-reader Midstate RBERN Coordinator Tanya Rosado-Barranger (in front) and SLS Library Assistant Bryan Acee (in back). In the photo at right, STEM Coordinator Christopher Leece reads questions for the March 25 competition.