ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Ector County Independent School District held its annual “Battle of the Bluebonnets” at Odessa High School on Friday.
“Life requires you to be literate, so we want to set our students up for success,” said Director of Literacy, Jaime Miller. She says the district hopes the competition will instill and promote early literacy.
Every year, Texas chooses 25 books to designate as Bluebonnet books. They range in genre, difficulty, as well as narratives. Those books are then read by elementary students at ECISD, and each school holds its own competition to test the knowledge of students. Top students from each elementary school then meet at Odessa High School to compete in hopes of taking home the district title.
Miller says the event is a part of a greater initiative.
“We’re below the state, but we’re working on that. We have several programs such as Book Worms that gives Pre-K through second grade students a book every single month. The Education Foundation orders 7,000 books every month for that program. We now also have book vending machines.”
Mandy Hinojos with ECISD’s Instructional Tribe says it is a program that they can get behind. The Instructional Tribe works to imbed instructional technology in day-to-day curriculums.
“Oh my gosh their faces! Their faces are absolutely amazing – the light that comes from their faces, the goosebumps it gives us. So that’s my favorite part.”
Winners will get their name put on a plaque and walk away with an abundance of accolades and gifts.
“We want to see kids in our community read before they get to Pre-K – parents as low as birth regarding books to their kids. But also we want to look beyond high school,” explained Miller. “Are we setting our kids up for success in their lives, for college, or career, or to receive an industry certificate.”