Apr 30, 2014

CORRECTED: Second annual Battle of the Books held at Springfield parish



Story and photos by Julie Beaulieu

SPRINGFIELD – Six schools and more than 250 contestants competed in the second annual Battle of the Books among Catholic schools in the Diocese of Springfield on Apr. 29 at St. Mary Mother of Hope Parish Center, here.

St. Stanislaus School in Chicopee prepared and hosted the event. Patricia Pilon, a third grade teacher at St. Stanislaus, was one of the event coordinators.

“It’s a trivia completion based on the books that he children have read over the past seven or eight months as an afterschool activity,” explained Pilon. “Each grade level has to read a selected group of books and become familiar with their (contents).”

“The outcome was amazing. Kids were talking about books that they are reading personally, some of their favorite authors…it’s just amazing,” said Pilon. “My own students were making text-to-self connections. They were talking about their favorite authors, what they liked about the book. And, that’s the whole point of today’s event. Students want to do this again next year, which shows that this event has been a success.”

Robert Trigilio, a third-grader at St. Stanislaus School in Chicopee, enjoyed participating, even though his team did not place. “We started during October and it’s been a long, hard time preparing,” the youngster told iobserve. “Of course, you have to get really interested in the book and know what the words mean and how to get ready for it.”

“I truly loved Mr. Popper’s Peguins (by Richard and Florence Atwater), because it was really funny and there was a lot of action in it,” he said.

A group of Holyoke Catholic High School students served as judges for the preliminary rounds.

“I’m part of a Christian leadership class,” said junior Tommy Heavren, “and we were volunteered to help out here. We did last year as well. They (competing students) did a great job.

“They were out there on task and excited about it,” Heavren said. “They would huddle up together. It was kind of cute, but they had a good time, they got the answers right and they are proud of themselves, so that’s what’s important.”

Heavren is a graduate of St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Springfield and he added that he wished the Battle of the Books existed when he was a student there.

The seven participating schools were St. Stanislaus and St. Joan of Arc in Chicopee; St. Mary Academy in Longmeadow; St. John the Baptist in Ludlow; Mater Dolorosa in Holyoke; St. Thomas the Apostle in West Springfield; and St. Stanislaus Kostka in Adams.

Competition was close during the finals, with a few tie-breakers. The first-place team competing in the grades six and seven division was the FumachUnicorns of St. John the Baptist School, which included Fiona Campbell, Matthew Ciesla, Samantha Devine, Nate Homans, Connor Martins, Aubrey Morin, Hannah Ross and Matthew Shaw.

The Book Sharks from St. Mary Academy won first place in the grades four and five division. That team consisted of Sean Maden, Colin Skelly, Adam Wiatrowski, Nicholas Patryn, Julian Bixler, Antonio Ramos, Michael Daly, Hannah Ronney, Ada Nystrom, Maddie Foard and Elsa Ma.

In the third grade division, another team from St. Mary’s took first place: the Rock’n Readers, whose team members were Gina Albano, Ella Edwards, Patrick Fitzgerald, Kiera Fitz Gibbon, Kate Grinstead, Michael Sadowski and Lucas Wiatrowski.  

Click here for a photo gallery of the Battle of the Books 2014: http://www.iobserve.org/index.php?mact=Gallery,m6e73e,default,1&m6e73edir=Battle-of-the-Books-2014%2F&m6e73ereturnid=51&page=51