Students test their knowledge in Battle of the Books competition

Students test their knowledge in Battle of the Books competition

Amarillo, TX - Students worked in teams today as they competed for trophies and ribbons, but it wasn't just any competition.

It wasn't football or basketball that had AISD students facing off today, but rather a competition of pages.

"Battle of the Books is like a game show type format where there are teams of five," said Kelli Smith who is a Librarian for AISD. "The questioner asks a question about 10 specific books that they've all read and the kids have 30 seconds to discuss it and choose their answer."

AISD has held the event for about ten years.

Over the years the program has grown from around three schools participating to having a total of 46 teams today just within the third and fourth graders in their district.

They say it not only encourages students to read, it also helps them learn.

"It helps them in all walks of life, it helps them with everything, the biggest thing they have proven is their vocabulary increases just by reading depending on how many words you're exposed to every week that you read it just increases that vocabulary," Smith said.

"I think it brings a new dimension because it's a competition like an athletic competition where they can shine, where they can do their best and it will bring in students that otherwise may not feel like they fit somewhere else," said Lorraine Mettham who is the Library Director for AISD.

And it teaches more than just reading, organizers say they are learning life skills as well.

"It teaches them collaboration, getting along with each other, listening to each other, I really stress that with my kids, you have to listen to what they're saying too because they could have a valid point, they could be right too, but you have to figure out what is the best answer," Smith explained.

The competition not only impacts the students, but also the educators.

"Just seeing the excitement on those kids faces, so that's the real reward here," Mettham said.