Baker City students compete in 2015 "Battle of the Books"
Fourteen students from South Baker Intermediate and Baker Middle Schools competed in the Oregon Battle of the Books – Region 6 tournament on Saturday, March 7 2015 at the BMCC campus in Pendleton, OR. This was the third year for South Baker students to participate in the statewide reading program and first year for BMS.
Oregon Battle of the Books is a statewide reading competition sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries and organized locally by participating school systems and public libraries. Baker County Library District partners with the Baker 5J schools to participate in the activities. OBOB celebrates a love of reading and supports good sportsmanship while motivating young people to broaden their reading experience and increase their reading comprehension. Reader teams in 3rd through 12th grades compete in local and regional battles before moving on to the state tournament which will take place April 11, 2015 in Salem.
The fourteen Baker students were finalists of approximately 46 students who began training for OBOB last October by reading the 16 books selected for each of their divisions. Weekly practices were held at the schools by Coach Courtney Snyder of Baker County Library District to quiz students on content questions about all the books. Students needed to be able to demonstrate their ability to quickly recall a wide variety of detailed information about the books they read, including full book titles and author names. In the quiz-bowl style competition, a team is awarded points for each correct answer but points may be stolen by the other team if an incorrect answer is given or time expires. On February 21, a local competition was held at Baker County Public Library to determine the teams to advance to the regional competition.
The three advancing teams consisted of four to five members which competed in two different divisions, one division for 3rd-5th graders and another for the 6th-8th graders. The Region 6 tournament included teams from La Grande, Adrian, Arlington, Condon, Ione, Milton-Freewater and more.
The South Baker team competing in the 3rd-5th grade division included Enola Watson, Jake Sargeant, Savannah Brown, Trinity Free, and Penelope Simmons. They made it past pool play into the bracket round where they lost to a team from Irrigon.
Karl Boman, Makayla Mills, Kyle Handyside, and Shelby Griffin made up a team of all 6th graders from South Baker who competed in the 6th-8th grade division and bravely battled in pool play but were unable to move on to the bracket round.
Grayson Jensen, Izzy Wachtel, Kristal Jensen, Melissa Titus, and Kale Cassidy comprised the 6th-8th grade division team from Baker Middle School. Having progressed past the pool play into the bracket round, they battled a team from Adrian nobly and lost by three points, which is just half of a question.
“Our Battle students battled bravely, answered accurately, team-worked terrifically," said OBOB Coach Courtney Snyder of Baker County Library. "The students involved love the program and love reading and are excited to battle another day. I am proud and unashamed at all they did. I'm also very excited to try again next year."
T-shirts for the OBOB teams were provided by Baker County Library District and its Friends of the Library group. Donations to support next year's program can be sent to Baker County Public Library. “And should you be interested in what the students were reading,” Snyder adds, “all books are available from the Baker County Public Library!”