Team advanced to top 16 before falling to Veneta Elementary

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Stafford Battle of the Books team poses with a team poster at the state finals.West Linn’s Stafford Primary School advanced to the top 16 “bracket play” in the state championships for Oregon Battle of the Books on Saturday.

Team members include Justin LeBlanc, Cyrus Gray, Michael Talbert and Isaiah Woram, coached by Catherine Gray.

The school competed in a pool of 19 elementary school state finalists, drawn from a field of 277 elementary schools across the state. Stafford advanced through the first two rounds of pool play and entered bracket play as the No. 7 seed, but fell to an eventual final four team from Veneta Elementary in Veneta.

Held at Chemeketa Community College in Salem on April 13, the sixth annual state tournament featured top teams from eight regions with a total of 481 participating schools. Each state competitor had already won at its school level and regional competition.

OBOB 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 taken from the books on the reading list.

First-place winners were Finley Elementary (Beaverton), ACCESS Academy in the middle school division and Oregon Episcopal School in the high school division.

OBOB is a statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries in conjunction with a Library Services and Technology Act grant.

Students in third through 12th grade, regardless of ability, are exposed to literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints.

According to OBOB, the mission is to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading, to broaden reading interests, to increase reading comprehension, promote academic excellence and to promote cooperative learning and teamwork among students. 

OBOB is run completely by volunteers.

Last week, OBOB was recognized with the Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy award 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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