On your mark. Get set. Read!

Annual metro area reading bowl returns to CSU

— More than 500 metro Atlanta children are expected to descend upon Clayton State University and show off their reading prowess next month.

The university is set to host the Fifth Annual Metro Atlanta Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Competition Feb. 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Children from the fourth through twelfth grades in metro area schools have been asked to study the 20 books nominated for the Georgia Children’s Book Awards.

The students will compete against each other at Clayton State to show who knows the most information about the nominated books, according to the awards program’s website, www.gcbac.com/.

The regional competition is based off a county-level reading bowl format created by former DeKalb County Schools librarian Helen Ruffin.

“Helen Ruffin was a library media specialist who wanted to excite kids about reading,” said Clayton State spokesman John Shiffert in a written statement. “In response to her posting on the selection committee for DeKalb County, Georgia’s Children Book Award Nominee program, she decided to engage students throughout the county in a regional reading bowl.”