Clayton schools to host Reading Bowl Saturday

Clayton County Public Schools will hold its annual system-wide Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl from 10 a.m. until noon on Jan. 26 at Arnold Elementary School.

Six elementary schools and four middle schools have entered the competition.

Arnold, Swint, Haynie, River's Edge, Jackson, and White Academy will compete in the elementary division; and Morrow, Rex Mill, Sequoyah, and Mundy's Mill will battle on the middle school level.

The schools will vie for the opportunity to represent the district at the regional competition that will be held Feb. 2 at Clayton State University.

Students will compete on factual knowledge that is gleaned from a list of books for elementary school and another for middle schools that are found on the 2012-2013 Georgia Book Award list. 

A team of five students from each participating school will challenge another team of five students from a different school that is on the same level.

Competitors will respond to a question by using a game show-style buzzer. The first student to buzz will respond to a question and will be awarded 10 points if the answer is correct. Ten questions will be asked during each contest, and the team that earns the most cumulative points is the winner.

Two schools from the elementary level and two schools from the middle school level will advance to the regional competition. No high schools in the district applied to enter the contest.

The reading bowl competition was started by Helen Ruffin, the now retired media specialist at Skyhaven Elementary School in DeKalb County, who created the game to motivate students at her school to read more. The bowl began as a statewide competition in 2003.

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.

Today, the Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl is open to students in grades 4-12 across the state.

The Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl will only use the original 20 titles on the Georgia Book Awards Nominees list and the 20 titles on the Ga. Peach Teen Book Award Nominees list. There are 16 titles for the elementary students and all 20 titles from the GBA will be used for middle school students.

A divisional competition bowl is to be announced after regional competition and before the state championship is held March 9 in Athens.

To help with the Reading Bowl, Clayton State Dean of Libraries Dr. Gordon Baker has called for 60 volunteers from the Clayton State campus to serve as readers, score keepers, and other general volunteers. There will be training sessions for volunteers on Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. and Feb. 2 at 7:30 a.m.