Our View: The battles were fierce

Mar. 03, 2013 @ 02:32 AM

Intense battles played out last week among teams from dozens of Guilford County schools. But the struggles weren’t between basketball players or wrestlers or other athletic teams representing their respective schools.
Last week, the dramatic competitions held on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro pitted students against each other in the Guilford County Schools Battle of the Books.
Earlier in the week, teams from county elementary schools competed. Later in the week, teams from middle schools and high schools battled. We congratulate the winners and those teams that placed in their respective divisions. But in the Battle of the Books, there certainly are no losers.
While the competitions were held last week, Battle of the Books participation begins in the fall of the school year. Participation is open to all students at every school, and it begins with a student making the decision that he or she will read books on the selected reading list, prepare questions related to the books, attend meetings or practices and prepare themselves to answer questions about the books in a competitive setting.
From those participating, each individual school selects up to 12 students to make up that school’s competition team. However, only six students may compete for a school during a round of the Battle of the Books competitions. Schools select their teams in their own ways, but many of them use point systems based on a number of factors, including tests administered after a student finishes reading a certain book.
The benefits from the Battle of the Books program are obvious. First, last week’s competitions seemed to be fun for the students and others involved with putting on the events. Additionally, teamwork and development of interpersonal skills are enhanced. But most importantly, participation encourages students to read, and it’s hoped that will help turn them into lifelong readers of books, magazines — and certainly newspapers.
Again, congratulations to competition winners last week, to all student participants and also to those involved with making the Battle of the Books events possible.