Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl—A Celebration of Reading

As I watch the Super Bowl on Sunday night, I wanted to write about the Georgia Super Bowl of Reading.  Yes, READING! A celebration of BOOKS! Information on the Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl can be found at this GLMA link: http://www.glma-inc.org/readingbowl.htm

One Coaches Story

On Saturday, February 6, 2010, I attended the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Northern Regional Reading Bowl with my Sonoraville High School team. We were joined on our bus by the Fairmount Elementary School coaches and team. Each student and coach had on matching long sleeve READING Bowl t-shirts. All the students and coaches were very excited to finally be headed to the competition to demonstrate their reading comprehension skills. Book discussions and questions could be heard throughout the bus. Several carloads of parents and grandparents filed in behind the bus to support the reading bowl teams. Due to the chance of inclement weather the Reading Bowl starting time was moved to 1:00 PM. I thought that the weather would have kept some teams from travelling, but I was mistaken, every team showed up to compete. The Pickens County Middle School gym was packed in support of 13 elementary school teams, 14 middle school teams and 10 high school teams. Keep in mind that this was just the northern regional competition. There were six READING competitions happening across the state on February 6, so there is no distance excuse for not having your school participate in the annual Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. So with anticipation the Pickens County Middle School principal welcomed the crowd, recognized all the schools, stated the rules and dismissed the teams to the competition rooms. A huge THANK YOU is in order to Pickens County Middle School for the use of the great facilities. The HRRB North Regional Co-chairs, Esther Brenneman, and Karen Gurty, deserve a large helping of gratitude for all the hard work that they put forth in coordinating of this event. They involved many community organizations including the Pickens County Reading Council, Pickens County Retired Teachers, Lions & Leo Clubs, and Optimist Club. I mention these organizations, because I am sure we can all come up with activities and events that we can ask local community organizations to help out in our schools. The Georgia Library Media Association www.glma-inc.org and Georgia Association of Educators have been long time supporters of the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. The questions are based on the nominees for the Georgia Book Award http://www.coe.uga.edu/gcba/  and the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers http://www.glma-inc.org/peachaward.htm . The quick paced game show format for the competition increases the fun the students have answering the questions. The high school teams participated in six matches with ten questions each. All twenty book nominees were represented in the questions. All the teams gathered back in the gym for the parade of schools and each team was recognized for their participation with a trophy. Amid screams of excitement, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place READING Bowl teams were announced. My team did not place, but the fun-spirited competition continues to be one of the highlights of the school year.

 The 1st and 2nd place teams from each region will compete in the divisional competitions on February 27, 2010 and then the Georgia Super READING Bowl will held on March 20, 2010. 

 Some final thoughts on participating in the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl:

  1. Begin planning now for next year’s competition.
  2. Ask your favorite teacher to be the co-coach—this event is made for successful teacher collaboration. Administrators also like to be involved in positive academic pursuits.
  3. Parents will naturally want to be involved with their student’s activities.
  4. Ask for help from local community organizations with the t-shirts, book sets, travel, etc.
  5. How can you not get involved in an activity that CELEBRATES READING.

Cawood Cornelius, Ed.D.

Library Media Specialist, NBCT

Sonoraville High School

7340 Fairmount Hwy SE

Calhoun, Georgia  30701

 (706)602-0320 ext 3030


Posted on February 8, 2010, in Activities, Best practice, Ideas, Information Literacy, Reading, Recognition and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The Western Regional HRRB was also terrific last Saturday. Pam Huey, Tracy Scaglione, Jennifer Camp, and many others worked hard to organize a very well run competition!! I am fortunate to get to help the leaders organize the Bowl at the University of West Georgia campus, and I have to admit this is one of the most enjoyable events in which I participate! Thanks for your posting about this awesome event for Georgia kids! Wouldn’t it be neat to see it go national???

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