SPS Holds Virtual Battle of the Books

Springfield Public Schools held their 5th annual Battle of the Books with 10 schools competing for the title. A competition of students reading and studying the 12 Missouri Truman Award nominees, a group of books written for young readers.

This year, however, instead of an all-day competition for grades 6-8 at an SPS middle school, the competition took place through the web because of the COVID-19 lockdown.

“When the competition planned for April 1 was canceled, the librarians immediately began discussing how to create a digital BOB (Battle of the Books),” Angela Casteel, coordinator of library services, said in a posting on the SPS website. “They wanted to provide a sense of connection and normalcy for students during the COVID-19 school closure. There wasn’t any question about the competition happening, but it did takes lots of teamwork to shift it to an online event.”

Nicole Bueno, librarian at Glendale, and Christina Wilkins, librarian at Pipkin, organized the event and knew it had to be brought to an online format. After SPS rolled out their distance learning platform, Bueno & Wilkins created a plan to use web conferencing along with a special quiz software.

“I was extremely proud of how open and collaborative the librarians were about the event,” Bueno, who has led the event for five years, said in an SPS posting. “We all feel strongly about the importance of promoting, supporting and creating reading activities for all students.”

The students took to the web on May 15th for the competition and at the end of the day Jarrett Middle School came away with the win.

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