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Enota elementary vies for reading bowl gold
Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy Reading Bowl team members get into a lively discussion about a book the team is being quizzed on Thursday afternoon as they prepare for the upcoming Reading Bowl. From left are Sydney Sanchez, Anna Diaz, Emmeline Jones, Hannah Cash and Hannah Adamson.

For the past two years, a team of readers from Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy has placed third in the state at the annual Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl.

But this year, the Enota team is going for the gold. And it is doing it in style.

In preparation for the division tournament today in Statesboro that pits them against other district winners, Enota’s reading bowl team ran through the hallways of the elementary school Friday as students lined the halls cheering them on and slapping high-fives.
Queen’s “We are the Champions,” the team’s theme song, echoed throughout the school as they departed for Statesboro.

Last fall, the team read 16 books nominated for the Georgia Storybook Award. After winning the district competition Feb. 7 in Augusta, the team of 10 students will again be quizzed on the characters, themes and details of the 16 novels in the Reading Bowl. The reading team will race other teams to answer the questions correctly.

Andrea Gilbert, the media specialist at Enota, said the team has practiced buzzing in correct answers five days a week after school since early January. She said students even gave up some of their lunchtime to get in additional practice questions.

“This is no small feat,” Gilbert said. “These are the brightest of the bright. I’m so proud of these boys and girls. They’re so dedicated.”

More than 30 fourth- and fifth-graders auditioned for the Enota reading bowl team, but only 10 were selected, she said. Students were required to read novels that told stories of a Bronx baseball star, the early Jamestown settlement or a mentally disabled mother.

One required novel, “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan, combined Greek mythology with modern adventure and proved to be one of the students’ favorites, even though it’s 375 pages long.

When Enota took first place for the elementary school division of the eastern district competition earlier this month, Centennial Arts Academy placed second. In the middle school division, Gainesville Middle School took first place in the eastern district and also will compete in Statesboro today.

If the schools win today, they will advance to the state competition.

Enota students fondly named their district trophy “Trixie,” which sits proudly in the library. They hope to bring another trophy home today to go with it.

“The competition is very, very tense. You’re sweating.” Enota fifth-grader Sam Terray said. “We have a reputation to keep up.”