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Funding cut from Battle of the Books

By Shannon Ballard 1:28 AM February 6, 2014

Instead of canceling, educators are giving their time for free

ANCHORAGE – They’ve read the books, studied the stories and now students across Anchorage are going head-to-head to see who will win the Battle of the Books.

It’s an incentive reading program for kids to demonstrate their skills and what they’ve learned from their reading list.

This year, however, there almost wasn’t enough money to keep the competition going.

Funding for the program was cut from $16,000 in 2012 to less than $800 by the Anchorage School District.

Instead of canceling, educators are giving their time for free.

“Basically the message I feel that it’s sending is that reading is not important, we aren’t willing to fund reading and aren’t willing to pay adulations to these students who have worked so hard to read,” said Battle of the Books coordinator Heidi Tsukada.

Tsukada said more than 4,000 kids are being impacted by the cuts to Battle of the Books.

Some schools have dropped out due to funding.

Coordinators said they do not anticipate asking students to pay to participate in the event in coming years.

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