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Fox Meadow Elementary Celebrates Victory in Battle of the Books

May 2, 2022 

Fox Meadow Elementary School won the first-place trophy in the 2021-22 Battle of the Books competition - the first time the South Elgin school has won in 47 years of the event’s history.

The annual reading/quiz competition started in the fall  and wrapped up in the spring. It was sponsored by the Gail Borden Public Library, the Bartlett Public Library and the Poplar Creek Public Library, in collaboration with School District U-46.

Fox Meadow’s 12-member team, made up of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students, was thrilled to hear the news of their victory, said the school’s Battle of the Books coach, 5th grade teacher Amy Kovacs.

“They were so happy - they had their arms in the air. There was screaming. One girl began crying. This was true emotion,” Kovacs recalled during a telephone interview. “This was a real commitment for the kids - they did the reading.”  

Fox Meadow students pose with trophy

Twenty-eight teams, including many U-46 school teams and several private and parochial schools, competed this year. 

Participants read titles from a list prepared by the sponsoring libraries. This year featured 22 fiction titles, 15 nonfiction titles, and 16 picture books. Then, six virtual meets were held, where the students were quizzed on everything from the various books’ themes and characters to finding solutions to problems raised in the stories.

“We went in with the goal that we wanted to win first place this year,” Kovacs said. “Two years ago, we took second place. Last year we were in fourth place. This year, there was a fire in the belly -  the team was driven and motivated. We set weekly goals, and we talked about books each week at our meetings.”

Dr. Jason Gold, principal at Fox Meadow Elementary School, said, “I’m very proud of our students and how they have represented our school in this competition. It was beautiful to see their reaction when they found out they had won.”    

Fox Meadow’s winning team members are 4th graders Kalee Stocker and Nick Kenny; 5th graders Sarah Johnson, Lexi Hayes, Mia Fenner, Liam Bultinck, Hailey Becerra, Eliza Ballschmiede, Ava Swanson, Sophia Huzvar and Ariana Godinez; and 6th grader Ethan Hoss-Carlson.

Fox Meadow will keep the trophy for a year. Kovacs said there is a special display case waiting for it. For now, it is in a place of honor in the school’s library.

She said the team is still glowing from its victory.

“They were so dedicated. And it was such fun coaching them,” Kovacs said. “They are true champions!”

Fox Meadow students with trophy