Homer Alaska - Schools

Story last updated at 7:42 PM on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Southern peninsula schools battle with books

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

From Chapman School in Anchor Point to Susan B. English School in Seldovia, schools on the southern Kenai Peninsula put up a winning fight in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Battle of the Books. It was held by teleconference Feb. 8-11.

High school: Homer High School, champion; Kachemak Selo School, fourth place.

Grades 7-8: Chapman School, champion; Voznesenka School, fourth place.

Grades 5-6: Homer Connections, second place; West Homer Elementary School, third place; Susan B. English School, fourth place.

Grades 3-4: Homer Connections, champion; West Homer Elementary School, fourth place.

According to Lin Hampson, HHS counselor, this is the first time HHS, coached by Esther Webb for the past nine years, has been the district champion since the 2005-2006 school year.

"The Homer High School Battle of the Books team would like to thank the high school librarian, Connie Akers, and Homer Emblem Club No. 350 for providing us with the books," said Hampson.

For 14 years, Tustumena School Principal Bob VanDerWege has coordinated the event. The number of schools in the district that participate varies from year to year.

"Those that took the championship go on to state in about two weeks and represent the school district at the state competition," said VanDerWege.

The Alaska Association of School Librarians chooses a list of 15 books for each division. The list for next year will be announced in the next couple of weeks.

"As soon as the list is out, (the students) will start preparing for next year," sand VanDerWege. "To be competitive, they read all 15. ... There are teams I know where at least one or two of the kids have read them all once, twice, three times."

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.