Two teams from OCDE’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Venado Middle School in Irvine recently made it to the playoffs in the national Battle of the Books reading competition hosted by Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
And one of them has earned a bid to the national finals in March.
This year, more than 70 middle schools from throughout the U.S. participated in the Gallaudet contest, which tests both reading retention and comprehension based on pre-assigned books. The event was created in 2012 to boost literacy, encourage critical thinking and promote sportsmanship for middle schoolers who are deaf and hard of hearing.
OCDE’s DHH program at Venado, which also boasted a finalist last year, entered teams in each of the three divisions — Buff, Blue and Green. Students were encouraged to read specific books, participate in small group discussions and develop study materials before engaging in preliminary-level competitions in late November.
The prelims featured multiple-choice and short-answer questions, with students participating via videophones and web cameras. Then came the playoffs, which followed a similar format, but with an extra round that had students respond with presentations.
Venado’s Blue and Buff teams both made the playoffs in December, but the Blue squad punched its ticket to Washington by finishing in the top eight within its division.