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It was a battle to the finish at the recent Ultimate Challenge of the Southwest Iowa Battle of the Books competition at Tri Center of Neola where two Red Oak Middle School teams placed first and fourth.
The seventh grade team - “B.R.A.T.S” (Book Readers And Talented Students )– with members Alice Choate, Lainie Edie, Kyla Gass, Sydney Streicher, Abigail Sherman, and Elsa Wemhoff finished in first place to receive a championship trophy and medals.
The “Lost Our Marbles” team including eighth graders Christian Horn, Andi Hunter, and Maia Woods and seventh grader Cassie McDonald finished in fourth place to receive medals.
In addition, the “B.R.A.T.S.” team also won the “spirit” wear competition. The girls designed a team shirt with the team name and then added accessories: duct tape head bands, and colorful and crazy socks.
“It was a very exciting contest – and truly a battle because at the end of the three rounds of questioning a tie-breaker round was deemed necessary,” said Coach Becki Kaiser, Extended Learning Opportunities Facilitator. “The contest manager announced that three teams had tied for first place and would be participating in the tie-breaker round! The final results showed that the “Lost Our Marbles” team missed the tie-breaker round by one question.
The teams participated in the Ultimate Challenge as a result of their performance on the Southwest Iowa Middle School Battle of the Books on-line challenge in March. Thirty-seven teams competed by answering questions over twenty books that they had read during the school year. In addition they were also asked to name the authors of each. Both Red Oak teams placed in the top sixteen to advance to the final competition: “B.R.A.T.S.” placed first and “lost Our Marbles” placed sixth.
“It was so amazing to be named the champions of the competition,” said Kyla Gass, a seventh grader. “I can’t wait to go back next year.”
The books selected for the contest were all award winning young adult literature,” Kaiser said. “The students read both non-fiction and fiction, prose and poetry. The subjects ranged from an account of the sinking of the Titanic to a society composed of clones.
“It was a celebration of literacy,” Kaiser continued, “where middle school students truly got excited about reading. The competition added the elements of teamwork and challenge. I salute these students and their effort and dedication.”
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