WRSD elementary students fight for local Battle of the Books championship

This year’s winners were the Baconaters.

Reading is serious business.

At least, it was for the White River School District fourth and fifth graders who duked it out at the May 7 Battle of the Books, hosted at Elk Ridge Elementary.

Almost three dozen students, in groups of four, read 20 books over two and a half months, from February through April. The levels of the books varied — some were picture books, and others were read out-loud in class, but a total of nearly 3,200 pages were consumed by each team.

“It was a very big task, because we had to read our books, and had to remember them,” said fifth grader Erica Pederson from Elk Ridge Elementary, adding that because they didn’t know what questions they would be asked, they had to retain as much information as possible to be prepared.

Erica said she spent a lot of her free time reading — in school, on the bus, at home, and even she even gave up recess a few times a week in order to keep up. Her team’s efforts paid off, since they topped the Elk Ridge school competition to move onto facing teams from other schools.

The winner’s of this years Battle of the Books, the first since it took a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, were the Baconaters, comprised of fifth graders Colton Alfano, Symon Banks, Kaeden McMackin, and fourth grader Caleb Nelson.

“We are very excited to bring this back annually and watch it grow,” said fifth grade teacher and event organizer Shannon Williams. “Battle of the Books is an incredible opportunity for students who may not be the most athletic or involved outside of academics to get involved, be a part of a team, and compete!”

Baconaters Caleb Nelson, Symon Banks, Colton Alfano, and Kaeden McMackin came away with the "W" in this year's WRSD elementary Battle of the Books. Courtesy photo