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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: APRIL 24, 2002


Students from Greenwood Middle School (Wayne County Schools) took first place and walked away with gold medals in the first annual State Battle of the Books. Runners-up and recipients of silver medals were students from Seventy-First Classical Middle School (Cumberland County Schools).

Sarah Robinson, a coach for the team in addition to being a Title I Teacher's Assistant at Greenwood Middle School, said that the Battle of the Books competition can really turn students on to reading. "What makes Battle of the Books so beneficial to students is that it forces students to look beyond a book's story line and into the details. Three of the students we had on our team are receiving state recognition for their SAT scores, which just goes to show you that reading is a key to success - not just in school, but in life," Robinson said.

A total of nine regional teams, comprised of over 80 middle school students from across the state, participated in the inaugural battle:

Region 1 -- Northeast
Ayden Middle,
Pitt County Schools

Region 2 -- Southeast
Greenwood Middle,
Wayne Co. Schools

Region 3 -- Central
Warren County Middle,
Warren Co. Schools

Region 4 -- Sandhills
Seventy-First Classical,
Cumberland Co. Schools

Region 5 -- Piedmont
Woodlawn Middle,
Alamance-Burlington Schools

Region 6 -- Southwest
Sun Valley Middle,
Union Co. Schools

Region 7 -- Northwest
Jacobs Fork Middle,
Catawba Co. Schools

Region 8 -- West
Cane Creek Middle,
Buncombe Co. Schools

Region 9 -- Independent Schools
Burlington Day School

Through the Battle of the Books competition, students were exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints by prominent authors in the area of young adult literature. Students answered questions about 27 different books in a quiz-bowl type format. Each team battled each of the other eight teams. The team with the highest point total won the competition.

Battle of the Books, a program that encourages reading by all students at the middle school level, originated from a public radio program in the 1940s and was introduced to North Carolina libraries in 1981. Since its introduction, enthusiasm has spread from school-wide battles to district and regional battles.

The State Battle of the Books is sponsored by the North Carolina School Library Media Association and the North Carolina Library Association.

For more information, please contact Edna Cogdell, State Battle of the Books Chair and Director of Media Services for Cumberland County Schools, 910.678.2614, or Angela Leeper, State Battle of the Books Committee Member, Evaluation Services, DPI, 919.807.3274.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.