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Going Mad for Books at Manor

Seaford Manor Elementary School’s third annual March Madness: A Tournament of Books had a new twist this year, with guest readers throughout the district sharing the 16 books entered into this year’s bracket.


The literacy initiative was coordinated by librarian Samantha Riebling and fourth grade teacher Jill Egan. When last year’s March Madness event went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Manor staff created read aloud videos of the bracket books, which were then shared on the school website for students to view at home. That was so successful that they decided to do it again even though school is back in person, and expanded opportunities to read to others in the Seaford school community.


Manor teachers played the videos in class, but students could also rewatch at home from the school website, with many making it a family activity.


Readers this year included central office administrators, Seaford High School students, and principals, assistant principals, teachers and staff from Manor, the middle school and the high school. The 16 books were paired up and students voted on their favorites until it was down to the final two – “Picture Book By Dog” by Michael Relth, which was read by Assistant Superintendent John Striffolino and his pet companion, and “If I Built a School” by Chris Van Dusen, read aloud by Manor Principal Debra Emmerich. 


Ms. Egan said that 16 new books were chosen, so they were no repeats from last year, and the bracket also included a mix of titles appropriate for both younger and older elementary students. She and Ms. Riebling announced the winners in each set of the bracket after students cast their votes using Microsoft Forms. The book bracket was hung in the main hallway so students could see the competition unfold as it went from initial 16, to the Elite 8, to the Final 4, to the Top 2. “Picture Book By Dog” was revealed as the winner on March 26.


March Madness Book Bracket