Yokosuka students check off their March Madness reading brackets

Yokosuka students check off their March Madness reading brackets

by Barbara Hertz
Yokosuka Middle School

There is a March Madness Tournament happening in Yokosuka, except with books, not basketballs! Yokosuka Middle School and Nile C. Kinnick High School are hosting March Book Madness this month, with students and staff voting to select the book they most want to read.

The Kinnick librarian, Dr. Holly Freeman, and the Yokosuka Middle School librarian, Barbara Hertz, collaboratively planned the tournaments to spark interest and conversation about books. Each librarian created a list of sixteen award-winning titles for either Middle Grade or Young Adult readers, created digital book brackets and physical book displays, and promoted the program widely through the schools. Students are able to watch book trailer videos, read summaries, and consider reviews to help them make voting decisions. As many as 150 students and teachers have participated in each voting round. Additionally, High School students are allowed to vote in the Middle School tournament, and vice versa.

The Library Club and a Reading class are assisting with the project at the middle school, where students and teachers can win prizes just for participating. 8th grader Fiona Brooks said, “This is a fun way to find new books that I wouldn’t know about otherwise. I have already found two of them I want to read.”

“I've heard some kids talking about what book should win and why. The books in the tournament are very diverse, too, so everyone should relate to at least one of the books,” said Brooks. “Our librarian says that our eBook circulation is higher because kids are checking out the March Madness eBooks, since we have more copies of those. I can't wait to see what book wins!”

Any DoDEA student or staff member from any DoDEA school is able to participate using a school Google account. Find the Yokosuka Middle School book bracket at https://sites.google.com/a/student.dodea.edu/yms-ic; the middle school tournament winner will be announced on April 6, 2021. Find the Kinnick High School tournament at https://sites.google.com/student.dodea.edu/khslibrary/khs-march-madness/khs-sweet-16; the high school tournament winner will be announced on March 24, 2021.

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