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Published: Wednesday, 3/10/2010

Monroe County students abuzz with team spirit

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

LAMBERTVILLE - Not soccer, baseball, or basketball but the quest for knowledge has earned some Monroe Road Elementary students bragging rights for a year.

A Monroe Road Elementary's fifth-grade team beat a team from Dundee Middle School 90-55 in the finals last week to become the 2010 Monroe County Quiz Bowl Champions.

Lizzie Ahl, 10, said she was excited to return from Monroe County Intermediate School District campus, where the quiz bowl was held, to show the first-place team trophy and her gold medal to her classmates.

She and teammates Samantha Moore, Joseph Lietart, Chad Pridgeon, Seth Handy, and Eric Puls advanced through the quiz bowl by correctly answering questions to advance to the finals.

They defeated teams from Mason Central, Trinity Lutheran, and Summerfield to reach a championship berth in the tournament.

Bedford Public Schools, represented by teams from Monroe Road Elementary, Smith Road Elementary, and Bedford Junior High, was among nearly 20 public, charter, and parochial schools that competed in the two-day event.

It was the first time that it was open to fifth and sixth graders.

Chuck Estep, tournament organizer, said adding the two grade levels doubled the number of youngsters in the tournament.

"We are stepping it up every year. The reason that we are doing that is because we want to send a message to kids that academics are much more important than athletics," said Mr. Estep, who is a curriculum resource consultant at the intermediate school district.

All participating teams received T-shirts and certificates and each member of the runner-up teams was given a silver medal.

Meadow Montessori and Monroe Middle School won the seventh and eighth- grade Quiz Bowl championships, respectively.

St. Mary Catholic School defeated a team from Triumph Academy to win the sixth-grade championship.

Teams competed in 24-minute games and earned 5 points for each question they answered correctly about math, earth science, geography, art, history, and spelling.

Each member of the four championship teams was given a gold medal.

The teams also took back to their schools trophies that they will get to keep for a year until the 2011 Quiz Bowl.

Teacher Lori Stanley coaches both the fifth and sixth-grade quiz bowl teams at Monroe Elementary.

"I am very proud. They worked very hard to get here," she said.

She and parent volunteers worked with about 20 fifth graders signed up in November for twice-a-week quiz bowl practice sessions, with six students getting named to the team after Christmas.

She said that the 10 and 11-year-old youngsters picked for the team were chosen because they weren't afraid to hit the buzzer and give answers.

"All of the students had the background knowledge," Mrs. Stanley said.

"I wanted the students who had confidence to answer questions."

Sandy Kraine was among the volunteers who helped Mrs. Stanley with the practice sessions during student recesses.

She said she admired the students for giving up their free time to prepare for quiz bowl.

"I think that is one of the reasons that makes this a very good program," said Mrs. Kraine, who also was a judge for the quiz bowl.



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