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

RCMP’s auto theft team nabs Chilliwack suspect

Kao Daniel Macaulay, well-known to police, arrested in stolen red Honda on March 20

UPDATE: Man with gunshot wound drives into ditch on Chilliwack River Road

Serious crimes investigators believe early morning shooting to be targeted

WATCH: Rally at MP’s office Friday in Chilliwack to stop KM pipeline

Water samples from Chilliwack rivers were delivered to MP Strahl’s office in a symbolic gesture

Garrison store going to new heights for children’s charity

Save-On Foods employees raising cash for BC Children’s Hospital, by throwing managers from airplane

Tourism Chilliwack brings home industry award of excellence

Sto:lo Welcome Figures carving project outside the Visitor Centre loomed large in the win

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

B.C. officials failed to tell Kiwis Fraser Health CEO had been fired in 2014

New Zealand spending scandal exposes Dr. Nigel Murray 2014 exit from B.C. job

PHOTOS: Students exhibit stunning paper couture dresses

22 paper made gowns will be on display at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre until March 27

BCHL Today: Prince George avoids elimination with game five win

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Suspect arrested and charged for assault on autistic man

Parmvir Chahil has strong B.C. ties; two others charged with accessory after the fact

Most Read