William Walker Elementary takes second in tie-breaker final round

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Findley Elementary School's Suhani Jain, Arushi Mantri, Kanthi Karumbunathan and Maisha Sinha claimed top honors in the state's Battle of the Books championship.Findley Elementary School prevailed over William Walker Elementary in a tie-breaker final round for the state championship at the Oregon Battle of the Books held Saturday at Chemeketa Community College in Salem.

The sixth annual state tournament featured top teams from eight regions with 481 participating schools. The schools competed in a pool of 19 elementary school state finalists, drawn from a field of 277 elementary schools across the state.

Each state competitor had already won at her or his school level and regional competition.

Shannon Bauck coached the championship Findley team, which includes students Suhani Jain, Kanthi Karumbunathan, Arushi Mantri and Maisha Sinha. Coached by Adrienne Gillespie, students on the second-place William Walker team include Margaret Burden, Jaden Hopkins, Eleanor Hunger and Samantha Miller.

Other Beaverton schools that qualified for the state tournament include Jacob Wismer Elementary, which made it to the top eight bracket; and Stoller and Whitford middle schools, which both made the top 12 bracket in the middle-school division. Other first-place winners included ACCESS Academy in the middle school division and Oregon Episcopal School in the high school division.

A statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program, the all volunteer-run Oregon Battle of the Books is sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries in conjunction with a Library Services and Technology Act grant. The battle features a 16-book reading list for the elementary and middle school divisions, and a 12-book list for the high school division. Teams of four battle against other teams in a quiz-show format. Points are awarded for correct answers to questions extracted from books on the reading list.

Students in grades three through 12, regardless of ability, are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints in an effort to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading to broaden reading interests, increase reading comprehension, promote academic excellence, and promote cooperative learning and teamwork among students.

The battle was recognized with the Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy award last week at the Oregon Book Awards in Portland. The award is presented to a person or organization in recognition of significant contributions that have enriched Oregon's young readers.

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