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Santa Barbara County Students to Compete in Battle of the Books

Nearly 200 students in grades 4 to 6 from more than 30 schools will do battle starting at 9 a.m. April 18 at the 12th annual Battle of the Books at the Santa Barbara County Education Office auditorium.

“More than just another competition, Battle of the Books is a great reading incentive program,” said County Superintendent Bill Cirone, whose office coordinates the event. “Each participating student must read 30 books from a pre-selected list.”

Two teams composed of six students apiece compete against each other by answering 20 comprehension questions based on those books.

The students must agree upon and offer their answers as a group, which emphasizes teamwork rather than individual ability.

“The event has received such enthusiastic responses in the last 11 years that this year, once again, the schools were clamoring for spaces, and it filled very quickly,” said Matt Zuchowicz, director of educational technology services, the SBCEO department that conducts the battle.

“Over 30 county schools, ranging from Santa Maria to Carpinteria, will each send a team of five students, grades 4 through 6,” he said. “Once here, the teams will be re-blended so that no one school competes against another.”

Regardless of who wins the final battle, no one goes away empty-handed. Zuchowicz and his staff will be awarding books and have created original certificates and T-shirts as prizes.

For more information, call Rose Koller at 805.964.4711 x5222.

— Dave Bemis is the director of communications for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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