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

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.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

A lone walker on the Hope River Corbould Park Rotary Trail on March 29, 2021. City of Chilliwack is seeking community input on its parks, recreation and culture master plan. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community input sought on the future of Chilliwack parks and recreation

Feedback from public sought as master plan for Chilliwack parks, rec and culture starts this summer

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read