Gwinnett schools compete in Readers Rally Quiz Bowl

Photo by Nate McCullough

Photo by Nate McCullough

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Teams from Mulberry Elementary School, Sweetwater Middle School and Berkmar High School recently won the Gwinnett County Readers Rally Quiz Bowl Competition.

The final part of the competition aired Monday on GCPS-TV, and repeats are scheduled to run at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily through Sunday. GCPS-TV is broadcast on channel 22 on Charter and channels 24 or 26 on Comcast.

"I felt an amazing surge of adrenaline. I felt all happy," Mulberry student Sam Van Hoose said of the moment her team won. "It took a minute or two to realize you actually won."

To prepare for the competition, team members read 20 books during the summer, and teams started meeting in the fall to prepare for the quiz bowl competition.

"This is not casual reading," Mulberry principal Vivian Stranahan said. "It's really about kids reading 20 books, knowing the books inside and out, and participating in a quiz bowl."

Stranahan said the Readers Rally is more than a competition; it's a celebration of reading and literacy. "It has created a real energy and a fever to read within our school," she said.

Lois Bean, a teacher at Sweetwater who coached the school's Readers Rally team, said the win is a testament to the students' dedication.

"We discussed (the books), and we thought about them," Bean said. "We were in (the characters') shoes, in small towns in Texas and in North Carolina, and all over the world through these books. We were a part of them, and it will give (the students) a love of reading their whole life."

Berkmar High's team is celebrating its narrow win over Brookwood High, teacher and coach Dennise Peagler said. Berkmar won the competition by 10 points.

"They get so much assigned reading through language arts classes," Peagler said. "This was an opportunity for them to read for fun. ... They read books they wanted to read."

It was a positive experience for kids to excel during their free time," she added. "They were in this for fun."