Peterson Fourth-Graders Win State Book Battle


Erik Wander/KMXT

A team of fourth-graders from Peterson Elementary School captured top-honors last week in the fourth grade division of the statewide Battle of the Books competition, the first team from Kodiak to do so in the contest’s more than 20-year history. The Peterson team beat out 38 other schools from across Alaska to win the title.

KMXT’s Erik Wander has more.

Under the competition’s rules, lists of books are chosen for different grade levels from third grade through high school. Students read the books and then compete in teams of at least three members to correctly answer questions based on the books in a "quiz show" format online. Chris Hicks, a fourth grade teacher at Peterson, is the Battle of the Books fourth grade team coach. His team, comprised of Isabelle Rice, Hayden Sholz, Leah Hicks and Alex Jordan, came out on top this year. Hicks said the team had to win at the school and district levels before advancing to the state competition. He explained the format of the competition.

(Hicks 1 55 sec. "The things that we can control … in which book?")

Hicks said the team members are very excited about coming in first and that he and other members of the Peterson faculty are extremely proud of them.

(Hicks 2 27 sec. "The important thing is how … in the fisheries area.")

Each of the four team members had their own take on the competition, how they won and what they learned from the experience. Leah said questions became more and more challenging as the contest advanced into its latter rounds.

(Leah 1 10 sec. "It feels really good … just kept escalating.")

Alex was surprised at how far the team went, a sentiment echoed by most of the team members. He also said he learned a little something about reading comprehension in the process.

(Alex 1 12 sec. "Shockingly, we made it … a lot of information very well.")

Hayden said he is proud to be a member of the first team from Kodiak ever to win the state competition, a fact he didn’t know until Hicks told the team.

(Alex 1 11 sec. "Mr. Hicks says it also … Kodiak to win the state.")

Isabelle said teamwork played a major factor in how the Peterson team pulled off the victory.

(Alex 1 12 sec. "Teamwork is a big part … and also this kind of sport.")

Battle of the Books is a motivational reading and comprehension program sponsored by the Alaska Association of School Librarians. The goals of the program are to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading, broaden reading interest and increase reading comprehension among students of all ages. Finishing after Kodiak in the final four were schools from Ketchikan, Galena and Girdwood.

I’m Erik Wander.


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