Gravely Elementary Wins Battle of the Books

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)


Gravely Elementary School earned first place in the Battle of the Books, a Divisionwide competition for fourth and fifth-graders. Triangle Elementary School placed second, and Ashland Elementary School placed third. Twelve teams from across the Division qualified for the final battle.

As the winner of the competition, Gravely Elementary received a check for $500 from local Realtor Susie Branco Zinn of RE/MAX Realtors. Zinn explained that for every house she sells, she donates $500 to a worthy cause. It’s her way of giving back. 

The School Division’s Battle of the Books began in the 2011-12 school year when Nokesville Elementary students expressed an interest in reading and challenging each other to determine who remembered the most details about a selection of books. School Librarian Debbie Ames created the fun activity and in the following school year invited West Gate Elementary and Glenkirk Elementary to join in the competition. 

“The goal of PWCS Battle of the Books is to provide opportunities for all fourth and fifth-grade students to explore various genres, enjoy literature and promote a fun learning, team building experience,” said Supervisor of Library Media Programs and Research Schenell Agee. 

Ames, who is now the school librarian at The Nokesville School, along with Wendy Felix, West Gate Elementary School librarian and Derra Banks, Mary Porter Traditional School librarian, have been instrumental in coordinating this year’s event. 

Belmont, Buckland Mills, McAuliffe, Montclair, Mountain View, Rosa Parks, Springwoods, Swans Creek and T. Clay Wood Elementary Schools also competed in the final competition. 

Other schools that fielded teams in this year’s Battle of the Books include: Alvey, Antietam, Bel Air, Bennett, Cedar Point, Coles, Dale City, Ellis, Enterprise, Haymarket, Henderson, Kilby, King, Leesylvania, Marumsco Hills, Minnieville, Occoquan, Piney Branch, Potomac View, Signal Hill, Sinclair, Vaughn, Victory, West Gate, Williams and Wilson Elementary Schools. Teams from Porter Traditional and The Nokesville School were also in the competition. 

Nine books were at the center of the competition. They included “The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity” by Mac Barnett, “I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863” by Lauren Tarshis, “Inside Out & Back Again” by Thanhha Lai, “Kate Warne: The Pinkerton Detective” by Marissa Moss, “Real Friends” by Shannon Hale, “ReStart” by Gordon Korman, “Rules” by Cynthia Lord, “Rump” by Liesl Shurtliff, and “The World According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney.

Ames and Banks also coached their middle school students in competitions that were hosted outside of the school division. 

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