After months of hard work, Dearing Elementary students won first place Saturday in the Eastern Region Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl at Augusta State University. The team of fourth- and fifth-graders met before or after school hours each day to read and study 18 novels from the Georgia Book Award list. They competed against 15 other schools, answering questions about the novels.
"So, we've been working on it all year, reading these books, talking about these books. They have a club where they stay after school or meet before school. I'm really proud of them," Principal Laura Hughes said.
Dearing Elementary Media Specialist Terrie Gribanow said in a press release that the school has sent a team to participate in the competition for the past seven years.
"Last year, we got third place, but this is the first time we've won first place," Dr. Hughes said.
Dr. Hughes said "in a moment of weakness," before the competition, she promised the students they could have a spend-the-night party if they won first place.
"Now, I've got to work that out," she said with a laugh.
"I just don't do stuff like that well, but I will honor my word."
The Dearing Elementary reading club will go on to the divisional competition in Bulloch County on Feb. 27.
Students who competed were: Carter Arrington, Raley Askew, Abigail Carpenter, Sarah Hughes, Robin Mims, Veronica Moore, McKinley Mosley, Kristen Perkins, Kealee Sturkey and Dylan Yarvrough.