Paramount, CA – Facing off with classmates in a friendly reading competition, students at Captain Raymond Collins Elementary School engaged in a Battle of the Books challenge on Jan. 31, boosting literacy and fostering team spirit.

Inspired by an annual District event that features a battle among 12 schools, Collins Elementary hosts battles throughout the year in front of an audience of students, staff and parents.

“It is thrilling to watch our students test their English language comprehension skills in such an enjoyable way,” Collins instructional coach Sueng-Hae Seo said. “By hosting our own battles, we’re giving every student the opportunity to participate, to get engaged in the love of reading, regardless of whether they advance to the June event.”

The district Battle of the Books will take place June 2. Twelve school teams of third- to fifth-graders will clash in a March Madness-style tournament as they are quizzed on their knowledge of four books: “Where the Red Fern Grows,” “El Deafo,” “Who Was Albert Einstein?” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

In preparation, Collins teachers assigned up to three books to all third- to fifth-grade students over winter break. Students participated in the Jan. 31 battles based on the District’s model, which asks each team 10 questions based on their reading. The teams consist of five members and a captain, who collects the team answers and articulates them to the panel. Teams are given 20 seconds to answer each question.

The winners selected from the Jan. 31 site battles will meet once a week as part of the Collins Book Club. Gradually, the team will be narrowed to six students – based on assessments of attendance and preparation – who will participate in the June tournament.

The tournament follows a question-and-answer format that tests reading comprehension, inference skills and encourages collaboration among students.

“Battle of the Books is a fun event for our District that promotes literacy in an entertaining way,” PUSD Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “We look forward to seeing our students compete at the District event this June and continue to build their reading comprehension.”


021617_PARAMOUNT_BATTLE1: Collins instructional coach Sueng-Hae Seo and teacher Autumn Altier quiz students before the Battle of the Books challenge on Jan. 31. The trivia-style event is part of a larger effort to inspire a love of reading among Collins students.

021617_PARAMOUNT_BATTLE2: Collins Elementary School students faced off in a friendly competition in preparation for Battle of the Books, an annual reading tournament that promotes literacy and tests reading comprehension. Third- to fifth-graders from 12 schools will participate in the June 2 event.