Reading and Art Competition Available for Hillsborough County Students


Panayiota Laliotis

Panayiota Laliotis

Gaither High School students have an opportunity to participate in the Student Literacy and Media showcase referred to as SLAM.

SLAM is a reading competition similar to Battle of the Books. While Battle of the Books requires students to read 15 books and memorize important details about each of the stories, SLAM requires students to read one book and make a creativity-based element to go along with it.

Students interested in participating, must read one of the 15 Florida teen read books and create a 2D piece of artwork or a book trailer for the book.

Students can see Aldrich in the media center for more information about signing up.

“The old way was like a quiz, you had to memorize facts, and this [SLAM] gives students who aren’t necessarily fact driven students an outlet to express themselves creatively,” Gaither’s Media Specialist Jennifer Aldrich said. 

Students who make a book trailer are required to make it without the help of online photos and must be original in their work, an aspect that “teaches student copyrights and inventiveness,”Aldrich said.

The list of books includes several genres from historical fiction to fantasy.

Students who make a piece of 2D art can’t submit a piece of artwork bigger than 11 inches by 14 inches. Students must also submit a reader’s statement along with their art. Those who make a piece of art will get to see their work on display and those who make a book trailer will get to view their trailer in a screening room.

There is no school competition but students can submit their entries and view them at the Tampa Convention Center. 

“It’s one extra thing to put on a college application to show that you’ve taken the initiative to create artwork,” Aldrich said.