By: Alicia Sands Lurry
Springdale Park Elementary and Inman Middle School’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl (HRRB) teams are headed to the Division 1 playoffs on Saturday, Feb. 27, in Jasper, Georgia. This past weekend, both teams placed second after competing in the Metro Atlanta Regional HRRB Competition at Clayton State University. Both schools won all six rounds in the Atlanta Public Schools division.
Congratulations are in order, as this marks the first time two APS schools have made it to the divisional round.
First- and second-place winners from the divisional rounds will advance to the state finals on March 19 in Athens.
Saturday, Jan.30, marked Atlanta Public Schools’ 11th year participating in the Georgia HRRB. The event is a statewide competition with a quick-action game format that tests knowledge on selected, award-winning books. Named in honor of former Dekalb County Public Schools media specialist Helen Ruffin, the HRRB was started in 2000 by DeKalb County Schools to encourage students to read.
The HRRB is now open to students in grades 4-12 across the state with over 600 schools participating.
Warren Goetzel, APS Media Services Coordinator, introduced APS schools to the HRRB in 2006 with only two schools competing district wide.
Goetzel said he’s proud of all the students who participated in the competition.
“The dedication to reading and literacy put forth by the student HRRB competitors is truly astounding and commendable,” he said. “I am eternally grateful to the media specialists and teachers who devote their time, energy, and resources to coach their HRRB team.”
As part of the competition, elementary and middle school teams read the Georgia Children’s Book Award nominees, while the high schools read the Georgia Peach Book Award nominees. The HRRB is played with a lockout buzzer system between two teams, usually consisting of five players each. Players are read questions and try to score points for their team by buzzing first and responding with the correct answer.
This year, approximately 350 students from 42 schools competed in the APS HRRB at Charles R. Drew Senior Academy. At the elementary school level, Springdale Park won first place and E. Rivers won second, marking the first time either school had placed at the APS HRRB.
At the middle school level, Inman won first place in its inaugural HRRB appearance and Wesley International placed second for the second year in a row. Drew Senior Academy placed first in the high school division, while Carver High School came in second for the second year in a row.