Mason Intermediate School’s 10th Annual Black History Bowl proved to be a fun, competitive educational event for the fifth grade class organized and facilitated by fifth grade teachers, Jocelyn Burlew and Nick Washington.
The competition started in November when students took a qualifying test to earn a spot on the Black History Bowl team for their class. Students then took their personal time, lunch and recess to study for the competition. In January, the sixteen teams began competing in bracket play and narrowed down to two teams competing in the Black History Bowl Final on February 10.
"It’s so gratifying to see the passion and commitment students have for this important part of American history. They spend much of their free time and getting together outside of school to study. It’s amazing to see the amount of information they can absorb and quickly recall,” said Washington.
The final competition opened with assistant principal, Terry Wooten, singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song long revered as the Black National Anthem. In between rounds of competition, students were treated to some live entertainment. A gospel mime group comprised of Keairra Lathan, Sequoia Wooten, and Ebony Ricks gave an inspiring performance to the song, “I Believe I Can Fly.” In addition, music from the live band “Take Note” featured Washington on the keyboard, Wesley Maxie on the tenor sax, Derrick Simmons on lead guitar, Shawnda Allen on vocals, and Shawn Ricks on the drums.
Special congratulations to Camilla Bergset, Matt Koester, Grey Montgomery, Davin Sivertson, Vinaya Sivakumar, and Joseph Washington, on Team Imagination, the 2016 Black History Bowl Winners. Congratulations also to second place Team Pioneers #2, which included Will Murphy, Hannah Stevens, Jonathan Luo, Carson Hurrle, Kiley Eckert, and Emily Keith.
MI fifth grade Team Imagination teachers Abby Brewer and Kim Rader were beaming with pride! “The hours and hours these kiddos put into studying and preparing is mind-boggling. These students met every weekend and gave up almost every lunch and recess since December 1st to study by choice!” said Brewer. “They displayed good sportsmanship and amazing character throughout the competitions. They got up to shake the competitors hands before, during, and after the competition at all levels.”
“The Bowl gives students the opportunity to shine and excel in a friendly, competitive atmosphere. This year we saw students with grit and dedication in every step of the competition. It takes team work, enthusiasm, and perseverance to advance to each round,” said Burlew. “These competitors have proven that anything is possible with self-belief and consistent effort.”