by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: KEN PIPER  - The Sweetbriar Elementary School team, Sweetbriar Stingers, won the 2014 Elementary Battle of the Books Championship in Reynolds School District. Team members include Brekkan Richardson, Abby Garcia, Alexis Arrendale, Elliott Demain (not pictured) and Denise Chapell.  Taylor Freeland filled in for Demain, who had to leave early.

The Reynolds School District hosted the Elementary Battle of the Books Championship on Saturday, May 3, at Salish Ponds Elementary School.

Oregon Battle of the Books is a statewide reading program for students third through 12th grades.

Each battle lasted 15 minutes, with two teams competing to correctly answer as many questions as they could about 16 possible books such as “Gregor the Overlander” and “Umbrella Summer.”

Special guest Deborah Hopkinson, author of “Into the Firestorm,” spoke at 10 a.m.

Kevin O’Dea, elementary media specialist, said 18 teams representing 10 schools participated, with trophies and certificates awarded.

The Sweetbriar Stingers (Brekkan Richardson, Abby Garcia, Alexis Arrendale, Elliott Demain and Denise Chapell) won first place, followed by host team Salish Ponds’ Golden Bananas (including Eduardo Vilanova, Apprell Hayes, Kaylee Covarrubias, Anthony Roberts and Jakob McManus).

The Diamond Noodle Nerds of Salish Ponds (Valentin Kushtan, Christian Shannbrook, Noe Brambila Guzman, Diego Dominguez Orozco, Amy Gonzalez Mendez and Estela Cecilio Hernandez) also participated.

Estela said she learned about books she wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to, while Eduardo said his team relied on flashcard practice before the battles.

Both participants said they gained a deeper love of reading from the “battles” and looked forward to participating in the future.

The goal of the program is to encourage students’ reading for enjoyment, broaden their reading interests, increase their reading comprehension and promote cooperative learning.

For more information about Oregon Battle of the Books, visit

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