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Thursday, April 3, 2014

HoCo Library's "Battle of the Books"

     I know I sound like a broken record when I talk about how our nationally recognized Library System is amazing in what it provides our community but I once again wanted to highlight a program that proves my point.  The Library's A+ for Education program partners the Library and our County schools in contests that supplement the in-class instruction.  This program is supported by the Friends of the Howard County Library and other community sponsors.
     The most popular of the A+ programs is the "Battle of the Books" which takes place at County schools tomorrow night.  The number of teams in this program grows every year.  The Library website describes this competition this way:
    " Battle of the Books gets fifth grade students excited about reading. A lively academic competition, Battle of the Books improves reading comprehension, builds vocabulary, and teaches teamwork and good sportsmanship. "
    "Teams of five students and one adult coach each read the same 15 pre-determined books. Selected by HCLS instructors and HCPSS media specialists, titles include a wide range of reading levels and subjects. Thanks to generous sponsors, all teams receive a set of books. In addition to reading the books, teams choose a team name then dress accordingly."

   "During the "battle" (a 50-question exam), a moderator asks questions that relate to one of the following: a direct quote from one of the book characters; a statement about something that happens in the book; a passage taken directly from the book; details about an illustration or picture. Winning teams receive prizes."
      As a member of the Board of the Friends I will be asking some of the questions to the students tomorrow night at Howard High School.  Just another reason to become a member of the Friends. Make your contribution easily by having an automatic credit card pledge each month.

     So the conservative justices of the Supreme Court just ruled that limits on campaign contributions to influence politicians is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.   Maybe they should re-read Washington's Farewell Address warning about the danger of political parties.   His concern was that political parties interests would trump the national interests.  Five justices of the Supreme Court show how political interests trump good government.   


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