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SBU Division of Education hosts Bearcat Book Battle

Bolivar Area Homeschool studentsBOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University's Division of Education hosted its third annual Bearcat Book Battle for fourth- through sixth-grade readers on Saturday, April 23 in the Goodson Student Union and Gott Education Building on the Bolivar campus.

Seventy students from eight schools competed in the competition, formerly known as the Literature Bowl, to promote excitement and instill a love for reading. The area schools included Bolivar Area Homeschool, Fair Grove, Halfway, Humansville, Marion C. Early (Morrisville), Polk County Christian School, Weaubleau and Wheatland. At the end of the competition, Bolivar Area Homeschool earned first place, while Polk County Christian School finished second and Marion C. Early placed third. 

“We love being able to promote and encourage the lifelong love of reading,” said Dr. Colleen Shuler, assistant professor of education at SBU and event organizer. “It’s so exciting to hear students talk about their favorite books from this year’s list, while they wait anxiously to find out what new books will be on next year’s list. All of these readers are amazing!”

Polk County Christian School studentsThe eight teams were required to read 10 novels from the categories of: historical fiction, realistic fiction, fantasy and science fiction/dystopian.

Each team consisted of a maximum of 12 students per team, or a minimum of four. Only six students could participate at a time per round, with no more than three sixth-graders per team, per round. 

Teams participated in four rounds of competition. During each round, six members of each team answered individual toss-up questions, plus group bonus questions. Each round, which lasted 25 minutes or until all 20 toss-up questions had been asked, included questions from each of the 10 books. 

During the competition, Dr. Julie Bryant (professor), Dr. Tamara Samek (associate professor), Dr. Scott Morrison (associate professor) and Dr. Dwight Haun (professor) served as readers and judges in the competition rooms. Several education faculty members, community members and education students assisted as timekeepers, scorekeepers and assistants to the judges. 

Marion C. Early students“We had so much fun witnessing the students battle over the books this year, and we can’t wait to begin planning for the 2022-23 Bearcat Book Battle,” Bryant said. “We hope more schools will get involved to heighten students’ excitement about reading. I’m certain next year’s Bearcat Book Battle is going to be even bigger and better than this one. We hope you’ll consider joining us!”

For more information about SBU’s Division of Education or the Bearcat Book Battle, call (417) 328-2057.

Photo 1: Members of the Bearcat Book Battle first-place winners from Bolivar Area Homeschool.
Photo 2: Polk County Christian School finished second in the Bearcat Book Battle.
Photo 3: Marion C. Early (Morrisville) placed third in the Bearcat Book Battle.

*Published: 4-27-2022