APS students finish third in metro Atlanta at Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl

Congratulations to media specialist, Lindsay Waddell, and her team from Morris Brandon Elementary on their amazing performance at the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl regional competition for the metropolitan Atlanta area.  Morris Brandon placed third in the competition, which included students from school districts across the metro area.

The Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl is a competition that allows fourth through twelfth grade students across Georgia to test their knowledge of  literature based on books that have been nominated for the Georgia Children’s Book Award and the Georgia Peach Teen Book Award.    Helen Ruffin, a former media specialist in DeKalb County, created this unique competition several years ago to encourage students to read.

Registration for the Bowl is held in the fall of each year and the competition begins in late winter.  This January marked APS’s fifth year participating in the event.  The number of APS schools competing has more than doubled in two years.  At this year’s Bowl, forty-one APS students represented teams from E. Rivers, Warren T. Jackson, Morris Brandon, Centennial Place, Garden Hills, Parkside, Toomer, Beecher Hills and Drew Charter elementary schools, Sutton Middle School, the New Schools at Carver and Douglass high schools.

“I’m very excited about the increased participation,” said Warren Goetzel, media services coordinator for APS.

When Goetzel introduced APS schools to the Bowl five years ago, he saw it as a great opportunity to engage students in reading and literature—especially since he recognized how much children love to compete.  “Whenever you put competition and academics together you’ve got a winning combination,” he stated.

Since the majority of APS participants were elementary school students, Warren says that moving forward, his focus will be to increase Bowl participation on the middle and high school levels.

As the highest scoring teams at the elementary district level, Garden Hills and Morris Brandon advanced to the regional level on February 4.  Morris Brandon tied for second place in the regional Bowl, but ultimately finished third after losing the ‘sudden death’ round.  Only teams finishing first or second at regionals advance to the divisional playoffs.   Divisional winners compete at the state finals in Athens, held every year during the Georgia Children’s Literacy Conference.

For more information on the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, please visit: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/hrrb/georgia.html

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