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Getting Involved

CSD Book Blitz Competitions Turning Readers into Leaders

As Margaret Fuller once said, “today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” It’s a sentiment the teacher, librarians, administrators, and parents who organize Book Blitz and Book Blitz Junior adhere to. Every year, schools across the District inspire students to not only read, but to come together and use the knowledge they gain to help their teams compete.

Bella Vista fifth-grader Camden Betenson competed in Book Blitz Junior for the second time this year and never tires of reading. “You can imagine you’re in the character’s shoes,” he says.

He and his team bested more than 16 schools (some with multiple teams) to claim the first-place trophy. Teams compete at the school level prior to advancing to the District level, and it’s a competition the more than 1,400 contestants take seriously.

“Some of my kids have read the competition book list multiple times,” says Bella Vista Elementary teacher, Lauren Robinson. “I volunteered to run it at my school because I want students to love reading as much as I do. It’s amazing to see them come into the classroom and tell me the books they finished. We made pins this year so they could earn pins for each book they read. There are kids who would not read as much throughout the school year as much as they have with Book Blitz. It’s all about teamwork and camaraderie.”

District Library Media Specialist, Gretchen Zaitzeff, says Book Blitz and Book Blitz Junior open the door for students to find a love of reading. “You don’t have to be tall or fast to participate,” says Zaitzeff, “It helps students explore different genres than they may typically read while building communities.”

For the middle-school-level Book Blitz competition, students read 20 books each year. This year, more than 300 middle school students participated at the school level with roughly 100 students moving on to compete at the District level.

“Book Blitz sets it up for students to be more encouraged to read these books and then compete with others,” says Midvale Middle teacher, Judy Rembacz whose team won the group tournament. “It makes it more exciting for students and it becomes more of a team effort with everyone instead of just reading individually.”

Butler Middle eighth-grader Brooklyn Doom says reading has become her top hobby and she’s enjoyed applying her hobby to the competition. Doom has competed in Book Blitz for a few years and was named the top individual competitor this year.

“I was committed, I read all 20 books, memorized all of the authors, I was committed,” says Doom. “I’m so proud because this is my last year. I’m proud I was able to achieve this and it’s something I’ve really liked doing.”

Doom says while she enjoys reading, she understands competitions like Book Blitz and Book Blitz Junior do more for students than just teaching them to love reading. “They help us grow,” says Doom. “They help us connect with people who have similar interests and feel proud of ourselves for achieving something that you love doing.”

Parents who are interested in having their children join their school’s Book Blitz should contact their principals to see if there is a team already, or to set up their own teams. To learn more about Book Blitz for middle school students, click here. To learn more about Book Blitz Junior for elementary students, click here.


Book Blitz Junior

Champions – Bella Vista Elementary

Runners-up – Canyon View Elementary


Book Blitz

Individual Champions

1st Place – Brooklyn Doom, Butler Middle

2nd Place – Lewis Higginson, Butler Middle

3rd Place – Three way tie between Hannah Carlin of Midvale Middle, Tawny McEntire of Eastmont Middle, and Sariah Wagner of Midvale Middle

Team Champions

1st Place – Da Dinos, Midvale Middle

2nd Place – We Love Picture Books, Butler Middle

3rd Place – Team Taylor!, Eastmont Middle

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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