Saturday, January 31, 2015 marked Atlanta Public Schools’ 10th year participating in the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, a statewide competition with a quick-action game format that tests knowledge on selected, award-winning books. Created for students in grades four through twelve, the scholastic competition was started several years ago by former DeKalb County media specialist Helen Ruffin to encourage students to read.
Warren Goetzel, Media Services Coordinator for Atlanta Public Schools, introduced APS schools to the bowl in 2005 and saw it as a great opportunity to engage students in reading and literature. “The competitive nature of the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl helps drive students to read,” he stated.
Coaches and their teams spent hours reading and practicing in preparation for the reading bowl. Students were required to read books that were Georgia Children’s Book Award nominees at the elementary and middle school levels, and Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Books nominees at the high school level.
Garden Hills Elementary reading bowl coach, Paige Lefont, stated that her team met weekly to discuss books and answer practice questions. She also stated her student’s excitement and anticipation during each round permeated throughout the room and that they truly enjoyed testing the comprehension and attention to detail during the event.