Students from Cheam elementary cheer for a teammate during Book-O-Rama at Strathcona elementary.

Book-O-Rama puts the fun into reading

Book-O-Rama is a reading-incentive program, organized by the Chilliwack Teacher-Librarian Association to encourage students to read.

It was like bumper cars on scooters.

Inside the gym at Strathcona elementary last Thursday morning, young book lovers from four different schools lined up behind the balance beam, bodies silently shaking with anticipation as they awaited their question.

“In what book is a dog named Turtle?” the announcer asked through the microphone.

As soon as the announcer gave them the “Go!” kids jumped up, raced across the balance beam, planted their bums on a small square scooter, and shot across the length of the gym floor, flinging a plastic ball out of a scoop and into a milk crate before sprinting back to their starting positions – all in a flurry of ear piercing cheers and chants from their sitting teammates.

If their answer was Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, they got a point.

Welcome to Book-O-Rama.

Book-O-Rama is a district-wide, voluntary, reading-incentive program, organized by the Chilliwack Teacher-Librarian Association as a way of encouraging students to read good books and have fun doing it.

“It’s an opportunity for kids who love to read to participate in a day of fun events based on some of their favourite characters,” said Watson elementary school’s teacher-librarian Carrie Klassen.

For five months students in Grades 3-6 have read a multitude of books, including George’s Marvelous Medicine, How To Eat Fried Worms, The Breadwinner, and Thief Lord. They’ve read at recess, at lunch, after school, on weekends, before dinner, before bed – any spare opportunity they had, their eyes were glued to the pages.

All in preparation for Book-O-Rama.

You see, these kids have heard stories about the annual event, some were even past participants, and they know it’s more than just rapid-fire questions being thrown at them Jeopardy style. Oh no, Book-O-Rama is a morning filled with outrageous laughter and a fun-filled relay obstacle course that tests not only their fictional knowledge, but also coordination and fitness.

Most notably with the scooters.

Some kids were old hands at it, speeding down the wood floor backwards, using their small feet to propel them faster. Some tried different tactics, kneeling down on one knee and using their other leg to move them forward, and one even tried  mounting it with her belly as though she were on a waterslide.

Some shot down the lane straight as an arrow, but most weaved and zigzagged along the gym floor, some going completely diagonal across – so focused on getting to the end, they had nary a thought for the other competitors on the floor.

Much to the laughter of teachers, parents and classmates watching on the sidelines.

By the end, the organizers hoped to have opened the minds of non-readers and readers alike.

“We’re trying to stretch them beyond their comfort zones, open their minds to different genres,” said Klassen.

Thirteen schools participated in Book-O-Rama, which was hosted at four different schools, with an average of 10 students per school.

Just Posted

Gritty GW Graham Grizzlies crush Pitt Meadows Marauders

Five touchdowns from Von Richardson led the way in a 47-14 road romp for GWG

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Chilliwack Fair seeking new board members

Growing event and retiring directors means the need is there

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by Pitt Meadows councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Mother bear attacks Mission woman, conservation officer

Animal charged, knocked down and bit conservation officer before being pushed off and shot

VIDEO: Daze of Derby hosts teams from around B.C. and Washington

Reformatted tourney squeezed all the action into a one-day event.

Amazon gets 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Submissions were due last week. Online retailer has said tax breaks and grants would be factors

Raise a glass for the 28th annual Fraser Valley Wine Festival

Charity soirée happens Nov. 4 at Willowbrook Shopping Centre

5 to start your day

A South Surrey shooting, Team B.C. wins the 2017 WHL Cup and more

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

A ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy during his last appearance

A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ scared up a healthy $21.7 million in its first weekend in theatres

Even as long-form census data returns, Statcan readies for day without it

Wednesday’s release is expected to show immigrants making up a larger share of the population

B.C. VIEWS: Horgan fumbles salmon farm threat

Lana Popham falls for anti-aquaculture propaganda

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Most Read