EAST ORANGE, NJ — The “Book Worms” shared smiles, laughter, hugs, and high fives after the team was declared the victors of the first annual “Reading Trivia Bowl.”
The event, which took place at Cicely L. Tyson Middle/High School, started as a collaboration between Assistant Principal Ameenah Poole and Literacy Arts Coach Fay Carr and took more than three weeks to plan.
“We were supporting a directive from East Orange School District’s Secondary ELA (English Language Arts) Supervisor, Mrs. Yukima Hughes,” Poole said. “Mrs. Hughes wanted each school to do some kind of Learning Ally launch/relaunch.
“We’ve always had this tagline ‘Get Lit with Reading,’ we kept that and planned a campaign around it. The events were inclusive of kids, supportive of the whole school community’s reading initiative, and using Learning Ally reading at its core.”
Other events in the campaign included: Cafeteria Poetry Round; Spotlight an Author; Sock it to Reading! and Dress Up Like a Book Character.
Students interested in participating were required to complete a form through their Schoology accounts and meet established criteria as required.
“This campaign is on-going,” Carr said. “It’s a district initiative because statistics show that students who read for 20 minutes a day become more successful.”
The Trivia Bowl was the culminating activity of a week of carefully planned events.
Poole interacted with students to hype their excitement and groups chanted for their favorite trivia team during the contest, which lasted more than an hour..
Students were posed a question and had to press down on a buzzer. The first participant to hit the buzzer would then respond to the question. If they answered correctly, they would advance in the game and select a category of interest from an overhead board.
Next, they would select the number of points they wanted to score. More challenging questions had higher point values assigned to them. A group of judges were on hand to monitor the activity.
Questions like “The first superhero to wear a costume was?” were posed by Kelvin R. Langevine Jr., a senior, who hosted the event and helped streamline the flow of the game.
“It’s important to be a great listener,” Langevine said. “I was actively listening to the audience, and I would monitor and adjust my performance accordingly.”
Kamiyah Lee, 17, a senior, said her teacher Pamela Moenga, picked me to participate.
“They gave us a study guide, but the study guides did not have answers in it,” Lee said. “We had to research the answers to the questions and study them.”
Lee’s team, the Book Worms, won the event, beating the Pandas by 600 points.
“I liked how random the experience was,” Lee said.” It gave everyone a fair shot.”
Audience member, Aaliyah Johnson, an 11-year-old sixth grader, said she enjoyed it but was surprised the Book Worms won.
“There was a huge plot twist too,” Aaliyah said. “I thought the Pandas were going to win,but the Bookworms won instead.”
Londyn Rogers, 13, said he liked the interactive aspect of the event and how he got to vote for the team of his choice.
Trivia Bowl participant, sixth grader, Jayden Carrion, 11, said he was apprehensive at the outset.
“To be honest, I was afraid at the beginning, but then when it was my turn I wasn’t afraid, Carrion said. “I really appreciated my team a lot. They were really supportive. It was an honor to be a part of the Book Worms.”