SPRING HILL — Spring Hill Elementary School's team was the top group at Hernando County's 16th annual Battle of the Books. The event is a countywide competition, held this year on May 21 at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics.
Participating schools were Chocachatti Elementary, Challenger K-8, Suncoast Elementary, Spring Hill Elementary and J.D. Floyd K-8.
Spring Hill Elementary's last win was in 2002. This year's team members were captain Sarah James, Briana Rifino, Skylar Shreiber and Adri-Anna Harris.
Battle of the Books is a contest to test reading comprehension and retention. The students read 15 Department of Education Sunshine State Young Readers designated books and had prepared to answer questions about them.
Spring Hill Elementary media specialist Sue Timberlake chose her school's team by looking at the accelerated reader scores of students who had read all of the books and were interested in participating.
When she had the four team members, their practices became student-led. She provided materials; they devised some of their own questions to quiz each other.
Their efforts paid off.
Two of the Spring Hill team members were repeat competitors. This was Sarah's third year on the team, and Briana's second. Skylar and Adri-Anna were first-time participants.
The event was run by the schools' media specialists: Timberlake, Debbye Warrell (Challenger), Sara Cohen (J.D. Floyd), Nancy Lovelock (Brooksville Elementary), Karen Hensley (Suncoast) and Marsha Eicholtz (Chocachatti).
The schools' Parent-Teacher-Student Associations, in an effort coordinated by parent and member Barbara Ryczek, provided ribbons and T-shirts for participants; medallions for first-, second- and third-place winners; and the trophy for the winning school.