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Scappoose bookworms battle with regional schools

Four teams of Scappoose students fare well in Oregon Battle of the Books


by: PHOTO SUBMITTED BY KRISTIE FREEMAN, LANGUAGE ARTS TEACHER AT SCAPPOOSE MIDDLE SCHOOL - The Scappoose Middle School Oregon Battle of the Books team that advanced to regionals from left to right: eighth-grader John Kavulich, seventh-grader Audrey Demeaux, eighth-grader Linnaea Kavulich, seventh-grader Carissa Pixley and eighth-grader Nate Maller.Students from three Scappoose schools competed among 74 other schools in a regional Oregon Battle of the Books competition in Beaverton last Saturday, March 15. While none of the teams advanced to the statewide level, teachers said the students preformed exceptionally in their battles.

Of the Scappoose teams that advanced to regionals, Scappoose Middle School students — under the instruction of Kristie Freeman, language arts teacher at Scappoose Middle — made it the furthest.

“It was terrific. We did really, really well,” Freeman said. “Our team placed in the top eight. That’s the furthest we’ve ever gone.”

At Oregon Battle of the Books competitions, students are asked to answer questions about select books and are judged by accuracy.

Oregon Battle of the Books is a statewide reading motivation and comprehension program sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries and is partially funded by a Library Services and Technology Act grant. The program is run completely by volunteers.

Freeman said the Middle School team scored enough points in its initial round to advance to the “Sweet 16,” and, once there, did well enough to move on to the “Elite Eight.”

There, Scappoose Middle students lost by only three points to the team that would continue to be the number one seed, Freeman said.

“It was an intense battle and it was really cool,” she said, adding that the team also successfully challenged the event’s judges twice, an apparently rare occasion at Oregon Battle of the Books competitions.

Freeman expressed excitement over the team’s dedication to reading, noting that in middle school, students’ interest in books tends to drop.

“It’s very promising as a teacher to see kids’ enthusiasm for reading increase,” she said.

Scappoose Middle’s Battle of the Books team read a total 16 books and was made up of eighth-graders Nate Maller, John Kavulich and Linnaea Kavulich, as well as seventh-graders Audrey Demeaux and Carissa Pixley.by: PHOTO SUBMITTED BY JULIA EDGE, ENGLISH TEACHER AT SCAPPOOSE HIGH SCHOOL - The Scappoose High School Oregon Battle of the Books team that advanced to regionals from left to right: junior Chase Pixley, freshman Laurel Evans, coach Julia Edge, junior Patricia Brady and junior Katelyn Mitts.

Julia Edge, English teacher and coach for Scappoose High School’s Battle of the Books Team, said Scappoose High students also preformed better at the competition than in previous years.

“It went very well,” she said, adding the team made it successfully through two battles at the event. “We were only five points away from going to the state championship. We did better than in the last three years.”

Scappoose High’s Battle of the Books Team was assigned 12 books over the summer and was composed of junior Katelyn Mitts, junior Chase Pixley, junior Patricia Brady and freshman Laurel Evans.by: PHOTO SUBMITTED BY KRISTY LARSON, FOURTH-GRADE TEACHER AT OTTO PETERSEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - The Otto Petersen Elementary School fourth-grade Oregon Battle of the Books team that competed in a regional battle last Saturday, March 15, from left to right: Isabella Amaro, Elena Winkel, Madison Mobley, Molly Hagen and Jax Ekstrom.

Two teams of Otto Petersen Elementary School students competed in Beaverton Saturday. Kristy Larson, fourth-grade teacher at Otto Petersen Elementary and coach of the school’s Battle of the Books teams, said making it to the Saturday event alone was a “big deal.”

“Both teams represented the school very well and had great sportsmanship,” Larson said.

The sixth-grade team that advanced to regionals consisted of Emma Jones, Taryn Verzino, Corbin Ulibarri and Matt Wallen. A team of fourth-graders, competing in the third to fifth-grade division, was composed of Isabella Amaro, Elena Winkel, Madison Mobley, Molly Hagen and Jax Ekstrom.by: PHOTO SUBMITTED BY KRISTY LARSON, FOURTH-GRADE TEACHER AT OTTO PETERSEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - The Otto Petersen Elementary School sixth-grade Oregon Battle of the Books team that competed in a regional battle last Saturday, March 15, from left to right: Emma Jones, Taryn Verzino, Corbin Ulibarri and Matt Wallen.

Larson said the school’s fourth-grade team won its first battle at the event, but didn’t have enough points to advance to a second round. The sixth-grade team did well too, she said, but didn’t advance to the second round either.

Larson said Otto Petersen students were given 16 books to read at the beginning of the school year and had been reading through them since.

Battle of the Books teams had to win several battles within their respective schools, including a finals competition, before advancing to the regional competition.

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