No “battle of the books” this year

DAVIDSON COUNTY, NC (WGHP) – Parents in Davidson County have contacted FOX8 to ask what happened to “the battle of the books.”

It’s a challenge that requires students to read specific books and take part in a quiz to test their knowledge.

According to Superintendent Dr Emily Lipe, the competition is on hold due to concerns about the books children are reading.

Parents tell FOX8 they received no notification or explanation of the change, and they fear it could lead to limited new reading experiences.

A dad with a middle and high school student in Davidson County didn’t want to be identified, but was passionate about the benefits of “battle of the books.”

“I feel like this could lead to children being deprived of positive experiences and the opportunity to grow,” he said. “There are a lot of kids who really like ‘The Battle of the Books’ and enjoy it.”

Lipe tells FOX8 that the school district has yet to notify parents of the change. She explained what they are doing to bring him back.

“In February of this year, we created a committee led by Dr. Heather Horton and the media coordinators, and they are reviewing their selection process for our media center,” Lipe said.

Currently, a statewide group selects the list of books for the competition.

Dr. Lipes’ goal is to educate parents about the content of the pages.

“We’ll let our parents review a synopsis of these titles, and then if they allow their children to participate, they can sign a release form,” Lipe said.

The committee creating the review process for parents will present their ideas to the school board for approval in June.

“There are so many readings to offer our students. We want them to generate high interest. We want them to be engaging, but we want them to be appropriate to the level of our students,” Lipe said.

She added that it’s possible that Davidson County school leaders will create their own format locally and that media coordinators will create a smaller version of the contest for students.

Colin L. Johnson