Fifth-grade students across all five district-operated schools, as well as the district’s charter Monument Academy, gathered to compete and showcase their mastery of reading in the first in-person Battle of the Books event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organized by Kelly Collier, Monument Academy’s west campus librarian, the inter-district competition unfolded on April 1 as 12 teams, two from each of the six fifth grade classes, showcased their knowledge of books to a panel of judges. The judges asked a series of questions on books from an approved list of 40.
“It felt emotional for all of us who put our hearts into Battle of the Books every year. Last year we were online and although we got to compete, it was not the same experience,” Collier said. “This year, the students had a notable amount of energy, especially in the Grace Best gym, that it was overwhelming for me! Children are the most important people and to include the families who support and love them to make the day come together was very meaningful.”
Teams were broken into three rooms for judging in the inter-district competition, which precedes a regional competition in Manitou Springs on April 16.
“The district 5th graders look strong this year,” Collier said. “I think all the coaches will agree that we hope several of the D38 schools will have a team or two on stage even though we expect regionals to be a tough competition! Missing two or three questions can take you off the winning stage in most years. With only two competitions to take part in, I strive for the students to feel good about what they read, how committed to their team they were, how they set goals and met them, and essential time with friends, and making new ones, too.”
Collier said the fact that all district schools, including Palmer Lake Elementary, Lewis-Palmer Elementary, Prairie Winds Elementary, Bear Creek Elementary, Ray Kilmer Elementary and Monument Academy, participate together adds to the special feeling of the event.
For the students, the day culminated with a chance to stand in the spotlight and be recognized for their efforts. All competitors received recognition and a chance to receive a round of applause.
First-place winners from the day include:
- Bear Creek’s first team
- Monument Academy’s second team
- Prairie Winds’ second team