E. Rivers Lions and Sutton MS Cougars Conquer Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl

The Cougars and Lions have conquered again!

While the entire District continues to Race2Read 20 minutes daily towards our 10-million-minute goal, two groups of APS students have taken their love of reading to new heights.

The Sutton Middle Cougars and the E. Rivers Elementary Lions took first-place honors at the virtual Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl (HRRB) on March 6, marking the second consecutive victory in the statewide competition for both teams. Well, sort of.

“Last year, we won the divisional round and was all set to go to the state championship in Athens, GA, but it was cancelled due to Covid-19,” explained Paula Boston, E. Rivers media specialist who has served as HRRB coach for 11 years. “We were deemed co-state winners with another elementary school from Valdosta.  It just didn’t feel like a state championship last year like it did this year.”

Though HRRB declared all divisional champions from elementary, middle and high school levels the 2020 state champions, there were no trophies or celebrations due to the ongoing pandemic.

So, this year, the Cougars and Lions went back on the prowl to capture a victory they could celebrate (socially distant).

“We have been trying to win the state championship for many years,” Boston said. “It is only through the hard work of our students that we finally won this year!  I am so proud of all of them, and really happy that they have come to love reading!”

Congratulations to E. Rivers and Sutton Middle School, where Melanie Burdis has served HRRB coach for three years.

In preparation for the bowls, teams read and studied the 2020-2021 Georgia Peach Book Award winners. Elementary and middle school students read a total of 10 chapter books, and high school students read a total of 20. The list for next year can be found here

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