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District Battle of the Books Arms Students for Regional

Baylea Larson
Stetson Elementary School
District 49 elementary school students united April 9 at Evans International Elementary School in Colorado Springs to show their reading comprehension skills.

Dozens of small groups gathered in three rooms during Battle of the Books. Teachers approached tables, labeled by school, asking questions covering the content found in 40 books. The morning event offered a practice round for next week’s regional competition at Colorado College.

The winning fifth grade teams, those exhibiting the highest level of reading comprehension, represented Evans International Elementary School, Springs Ranch Elementary School, Pikes Peak School of Expeditionary Learning.

“Our fifth grade teachers really encourage their kids to join — they often show great improvement in reading fluency and comprehension,” said second grade teacher Cindy Webb, who co-coordinated the district event with fourth grade teacher Katie Poulsen.

Latiana Childress
Evans International Elementary School
Webb also leads a before school reading club. Since the members started preparing for the reading competition in September, many of the students have been reading at a rate of one book per week, some advancing to two or more.

When her daughter entered fifth grade, Webb joined the event as a volunteer judge. Now in ninth grade, she has watched her child’s interest in reading grow after participating in the competition.

“She started reading different genres of books, which really opened her eyes,” said Webb.

Children participating in the competition read both nonfiction and fiction, including a lot of works of historical and realistic fiction. The list is published by the Pikes Peak Region Battle of the Books, which swaps out two titles each year.
Dustin Senger