Part of the Battle of the Books teams reading inside the library at NES. Those competing are: Rowan Wurst

Part of the Battle of the Books teams reading inside the library at NES. Those competing are: Rowan Wurst

Literally important, Nakusp Elementary readying kids for Battle of the Books

Face down, shoulders hunched, eyes wide but fixated on the words of the book, she flips from page to page in horror and anticipation.

  • Feb. 8, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Face down, shoulders hunched, eyes wide but fixated on the words of the book, she flips from page to page in horror and anticipation.

She’s closing in on the end of the chapter, the finale of the short story. The epitome is coming in the next few sentences, she can feel it. She holds her breath, digs deeper into the pages and… bam! She snaps the novel shut when she finishes.

She knows she just took part in something special, but she had to learn all of her ABC’s to get this far.

That’s what Nakusp Elementary School (NES) is celebrating in the next two months: Literacy.

Principal George Harding, along with his staff, are organizing a couple events in the next while focussing on childhood literacy. And what better way to get kids to study than by having a competition after?

“I just believe it’s one of those things where you can take an opportunity to focus on something and it gets talked about,” Harding told the Arrow Lakes News. “And that’s what happens when we have a literacy day. It’s the same as wear pink day happening on Feb. 23, it just brings attention to it.”

Family Literacy Day in Canada was celebrated on Jan. 27 across the nation. The program focusses on the importance of families at home celebrating reading and writing with their children.

But Harding wanted to take it one step further by having a competition with his grade 5–7 students at NES.

The idea that was formed is called the Battle of the Books. Kids are split into four teams of five and then given a month to collectively read 20 books.

Once they finish up on the books, they will go to the Bonnington Arts Centre on March 10 and compete face-to-face with the other teams to try and win it all.

“The moderators ask the teams questions about the books that they read,” Harding said, adding this is a very successful way to get kids excited about reading.

Family Literacy Day is an annual celebration across the nation. Read more about it at www.abclifeliteracy.ca.