By Brooke Rogers | CBS 11 News

ROWLETT (CBSDFW.COM) – March Madness is alive inside Ms. Landrum’s 2nd grade classroom at Rowlett Elementary School. But the goal of this March Madness is more about reading goals than basketball ones.

“It’s this thing based on basketball, but it’s kind of like books,” said second grader Jonah Gipon. “We read one every day, and then we vote on one on our ballots, which are papers.”

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“At the very beginning, I picked out 16 picture books,” said teacher Adeline Landrum. “We read two picture books every, single day, and we focus on different skills that second graders work on throughout the entire year.”


“She reads us a story, and we would write down the characters in the story, and we would write down the setting,” said second grader Paul Van Dusen.

Instead of a national championship, the winner will earn the title of Book of the Year. Thursday, students were voting for a spot in the Elite 8, and the competition was fierce between “The Very Impatient Caterpillar” versus “Even Superheroes Make Mistakes.”

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It’s bracket busting meets democracy.

“We talk about how your vote is private, so we connect it back to social studies that this is your right,” said Ms. Landrum.

And, to some students, it’s the only March Madness that counts.

“It’s more fun than just shooting basketballs at goals,” said Jonah. “Because you’re reading books, and books are good for your mind.”

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The students will write to the author of the winning book to tell about their March Madness. This is the first year they’ve done it, but Ms. Landrum is already planning for next year.