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Clayton schools compete in regional reading bowl

Members of the Eddie J. White Academy reading bowl team include, from left, front, Naholin Rodriguez, Genesis Velasco, William O’Bannon, Kayla Dixon, middle, Niara Thompson, Lois Teye-Botchway, back, coaches Giovanna Alston, Shannon Isom and Cheryl Guillory. (Staff Photos: Johnny Jackson)

Members of the Eddie J. White Academy reading bowl team include, from left, front, Naholin Rodriguez, Genesis Velasco, William O’Bannon, Kayla Dixon, middle, Niara Thompson, Lois Teye-Botchway, back, coaches Giovanna Alston, Shannon Isom and Cheryl Guillory. (Staff Photos: Johnny Jackson)

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The Eddie J. White Academy Wolves helped represent Clayton County Public Schools on Saturday at the Metro Atlanta Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl at Clayton State University.

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Rex Mill MIddle School’s reading bowl team included, from left, Jexe Campos, Matthew Hollis, Rinaldi Bonomi, Katelyn Barron, Joi Martin and Isaac Campos.

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Students, from left, Matthew Hollis, Rinaldi Bonomi, Katelyn Barron, Joi Martin and Isaac Campos competed in Saturday’s Metro Atlanta Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl competition at Clayton State University.

MORROW — Isaac Campos helped anchor his team during the sixth annual Metro Atlanta Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl hosted by Clayton State University Library.

The seventh-grader is a member of the Rex Mill Middle reading bowl team, which beat out others at the district level for a chance to compete in the regional bowl. River’s Edge Elementary, Suder Elementary, Rex Mill Middle and Eddie J. White Academy advanced from the district bowl to attend Saturday’s quiz tournament.

“Some competitors are feisty,” said Campos, 12.

Campos is one of the team’s literary whiz kids. He read 18 of the 20 books on this year’s reading bowl list in addition to some other fantasy and space exploration books he enjoyed reading in the fall.

He joined the team through the school’s literacy club after reading a couple of Helen Ruffin Reading List books over the summer at the Forest Park Public Library.

“It’s been great, I learned a lot,” said Campos, who competes with his older brother Jexe Campos.

Cheryl Best is the English/language arts department chair at Rex Mill Middle. She said the brothers, students in the school’s gifted program, are some of the team’s strongest competitors and are representative of those who compete each year in the reading bowl.

“It’s exciting and tense, and we have great parent participation,” Best said.

Eddie J. White Academy Media Specialist Shannon Isom agreed that the bowl is a multifaceted learning experience for students.

“It encourages reading, that competitive spirit, team work and discipline,” Isom said.