Inaugural Regional Book Reading Contest Hosted by Region One ESC

The first-ever Regional Battle of the Books Grand Championship was held February 14-16, 2018 at the Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg. Thirteen area public school districts participated in this unique event in which students answered trivia-type questions about books pre-selected for the competition.

This year’s Regional Champions are Gonzalez Elementary, McAllen ISD; Liberty Middle School, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD; and Early College High School, Harlingen CISD. Prior to the regional event, participating campuses select a team of students to represent their campus at a district-level Battle of the Books competition. At the District Battle, the campus teams also answer trivia-type questions about the books they have read. The top scoring team from each level proceeds to the Regional contest.

The Battle of the Books is a voluntary reading incentive program for students from all schools in grades 3-12. The philosophy behind the competition is to encourage students to read good literature from different genres plus the practice of good sportsmanship, the development of leadership skills, and just plain fun. In preparation for the district-level and regional competitions, students studied the books and had the opportunity to meet with some of the book authors.

“By meeting the book authors, students were able to make a connection and the book became more real to them,” Dr. Laura Sheneman, Region One ESC Library Media Services Coordinator said. “The Battle of the Books is a competition that takes reading to the next level; not just turning pages but to absorb the details of the story, to be mindful of details, and to come away with a deeper understanding of the books’ meaning.”

Teams participating in this Regional Battle included Donna ISD, Harlingen CISD, La Feria ISD, La Joya ISD, McAllen ISD, Mercedes ISD, Mission CISD, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, Raymondville ISD, Roma ISD, San Benito CISD, South Texas ISD, and Weslaco ISD.

Plans are already underway for next year’s competition. Contact the Region One Library Services and Instructional Resources Department at 956-984-6055 for more information.