Students to compete in reading

COVINGTON -- Newton County students will show off their reading skills this weekend.

Parents, teachers and community members are invited to the fifth annual Newton County Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Newton College and Career Academy, which is located at 144 Ram Drive in Covington.

"The bowl is a competition in which five students from each school compete in answering questions about the books they should have read with students from another school. It is similar to a round-robin baseball tournament," said Gary Shattuck, director of Technology and Media Services for the Newton County School System. "The questions are very detailed and test each team's reading comprehension."

Each school will bring 10 competitors with them to switch out during competition, which tests their reading of fiction chapter books.

"During each round, the students will be competing with a team from another school. At the end of each round, the team rotates and competes against another team," Shattuck said. "In each round the teams tries to answer the questions first. The team that answers the most questions during the competition is the winner."

This year, a record number of schools -- 21 -- will compete with a total of 250 participants, according to NCSS.

"Our coaches and team members have put in hours and hours of reading and practicing, all culminating in this one exciting event," said Datha Curtis, the library media specialist at Rocky Plains Elementary School.

One of the requirements for team members includes reading books from the Georgia Children's Book Award nominees for elementary and middle school students or the Georgia Peach Book Award nominees for high school students.

The first and second place teams in each of the levels elementary, middle and high will go on to the divisional level at Clayton State University in February. Winners from the divisional level may progress to the regional and state level competitions.