NCSS stu­dents flour­ish at Ruf­fin Read­ing Bowl

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­news.com

Buzzers sounded quickly as ele­men­tary, mid­dle and high-school stu­dents fielded ques­tions in a read­ing bowl com­pe­ti­tion Satur­day.

Twenty-two Newton County schools com­peted in the sixth an­nual Newton County He­len Ruf­fin Read­ing Bowl at Newton High School.

The read­ing bowl, open to stu­dents in grades 4-12 across the state, is a com­pe­ti­tion in game for­mat that tests stu­dents’ knowl­edge of se­lected books. Team mem­bers were re­quired to read books that were Ge­or­gia Chil­dren’s Book Award nom­i­nees (ele­men­tary and mid­dle schools) or Ge­or­gia Peach Book Award nom­i­nees (high schools). Coaches

and team mem­bers put in hours of read­ing and prac­tic­ing in prepa­ra­tion for the event.

At the read­ing bowl, par­ents, teach­ers and com­mu­nity res­i­dents watched in a num­ber of classrooms as stu­dents com­peted in a to­tal of five to six rounds. Cu­mu­la­tive points for all rounds de­ter­mined the win­ners at each school level.

Two mid­dle schools went down in NCSS read­ing bowl his­tory as they had the first-ever tie score in the com­pe­ti­tion. Team mem­bers from Cousins Mid­dle and Newton County Theme School at Fic­quett were on edge as they com­peted in a tie-breaker game with an ad­di­tional round of ques­tions. In the end, the Theme School won by one cor­rect an­swer.

Af­ter com­pet­ing, stu­dents filed into the NHS au­di­to­rium, where award win­ners were an­nounced. At the ele­men­tary school level, Flint Hill Ele­men­tary won first place, and Mans­field Ele­men­tary placed sec­ond. Among mid­dle schools, Cousins came in sec­ond, just be­hind the Theme School. At the high school level, Newton High won first place, and Al­covy fin­ished sec­ond.

The first- and sec­ond-place teams at each level – ele­men­tary, mid­dle, and high school– will go on to the divi­sional level com­pe­ti­tion at Clay­ton State Univer­sity in Fe­bru­ary. Win­ners from the divi­sional level may progress to re­gional and state com­pe­ti­tions.

“We are so proud of all of our stu­dent par­tic­i­pants to­day. This is a great op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents to com­pete in another man­ner out­side of ath­let­ics. So we are very proud of them,” said NCSS Su­per­in­ten­dent Sa­man­tha Fuhrey. “We would also like to say thank you to all the teach­ers, coaches, ad­min­is­tra­tors, par­ents and com­mu­nity lead­ers for their sup­port on this ex­cel­lent, awe­some day.”

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion from the DeKalb County School Sys­tem, He­len Ruf­fin, a li­brary me­dia spe­cial­ist at Sky Haven Ele­men­tary School in DeKalb, served on the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee for the Ge­or­gia Chil­dren’s Book Award nom­i­nee pro­gram in 1985. The lit­er­a­ture pro­gram, which be­gan in the Depart­ment of Lan­guage Ed­u­ca­tion at the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia’s Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion, in­spired her to use the nom­i­nated books to en­cour­age her stu­dents to read.

Ruf­fin cre­ated a unique read­ing com­pe­ti­tion in game for­mat us­ing the award nom­i­nees, call­ing it the Read­ing Bowl. Her vi­sion was to have teams of stu­dents from dif­fer­ent schools com­pete to test their knowl­edge of the se­lected books. To­day, the Ge­or­gia He­len Ruf­fin Read­ing Bowl is open to stu­dents in grades 4-12 across the state.

This year’s com­pe­ti­tion marked the 15th an­nual coun­ty­wide con­test.

Danielle Ever­son/The Cov­ing­ton News

Team mem­bers with Newton County Theme School at Fic­quett cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning a tie-breaker round against Cousins Mid­dle School in the read­ing bowl.

Danielle Ever­son/The Cov­ing­ton News

1 1) Por­terdale Ele­men­tary School stu­dents Del­lon Richards, Co­hen San­ders, Tiana Sa­muels, Nashara Bald­win, Alani Davis, Evens Deller, Mia Brown and Ni­cholle Munoz-Ramirez; 2) Flint Hill Ele­men­tary School stu­dents dis­playi their first-place tro­phy; 3) Cousins Mid­dle School com­peti­tors with the sec­ond-place tro­phy; 4) Liv­ingston Ele­men­tary School stu­dents shake hands with team mem­bers of Rocky Plains Ele­men­tary School af­ter win­ning a round in the read­ing bowl com­pe­ti­tion; 5) Newton County Theme School at Fic­quett won first place; 6) Al­covy High School’s team ac­cepts its sec­ond-place tro­phy; 7) A stu­dent with Newton County Theme School at Fic­quett looks on as a team mem­ber from Cousins Mid­dle School an­swers a ques­tion.

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