Martin Middle School’s team emerged as the winners as teams Edgecombe County Public Schools middle school students competed in the district’s Battle of the Books Competition.
The N,C, School Library Media Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association, sponsors Battle of the Books in North Carolina. The promotion of Battle of the Books serves the association’s goals of encouraging reading by all students and encouraging the development of exemplary school libraries.
Because interest in reading begins to decline for middle school students in comparison to other interests, Battle of the Books encourages these students to read good young adult books and to have fun while competing with their peers.
“I am very proud of Martin Middle School’s team this year,” said Angela Strother, AIG coordinator for ECPS. “They will do a fine job at the regional competition.”
Media Coordinator Teresa Muse, who served as the coach for the school’s Battle of the Books team, shared her pride for Martin Middle’s accomplishment.
“Each school year, a small number of students decide they want to compete in Battle of the Books. They take on a six-month commitment to read as many books from a 26-book list,” Muse said. “And they are required to regularly attend practices that prepare them for competition against other middle-school students in their county, region and state. All this is done in preparation for a one-morning competition.”
Muse said that commitment was the secret to building a strong, competitive team of students who had busy academic, athletic and extracurricular schedules.
“We began reading and meeting for practices early last semester. Each student was expected to read at least 10 books from the 2014 Battle of the Books list,” she said. “They would prepare questions from each book to be used in our Team practices and were expected to faithfully attend practices. Leading up to the District Competition, every practice included rapid-fire, competition-style questions and answers.”
After the district competition, Martin Middle competed at the regional level in Selma. The team finished in sixth place.
“In the head-to-head team bouts, the C.B. Martin team won their match with Wake County and also with Durham County. So we were pleased to compete well against some very strong teams,” Muse said. “And the team’s cohesive effort throughout the day was amazing. A beautiful effect of all the working together as a team - for over seven months – was the wonderful, supportive camaraderie these eight students exhibited during the day of the regional competition.”