Smarter? Prove It
Local celebs compete against fifth graders in TV-inspired fundraiser
by nick nunn
photos by jesse walker
Last Tuesday, 16 local “celebrities” lined up to prove that they are, indeed, smarter than the average Morgan County fifth grader.
Surprisingly, many fared well.
The event, “Are you Smarter than a Morgan County Fifth Grader?” was put on by the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and the Partners in Education Advisory Board to raise money for the Partners in Education.
The Partners in Education initiates programs supporting the Morgan County school system, including initiatives that honor retiring teachers and the Morgan County Teacher of the Year and create a job-shadowing program for students.
A crowd of supporters filled the First United Methodist Church’s Wesley Building Tuesday night, filling the seats long before the show began.
Jimmy Stokes, who performed the Master of Ceremonies duties, introduced the fifth graders and local celebrities, who Stokes described as a bunch of, “outlaws, snake handlers, chicken thieves, and… politicians.”
Differing from the normal show format, the contestants came to the stage to answer only two questions, choosing a new child to compete against for each question.
At the end of each contestant’s turn, they were forced to state that they were either smarter or as smart as a Morgan County fifth grader – or admit that they aren’t.
Some of the contestants employed nefarious tactics, hoping to gain a small advantage.
Dick Hodgetts, the first competitor of the night, came to the stage with a jar of candy, offering some to any child willing to throw the game in his favor.
Other contestants went off-script to promote their own agendas.
Instead of pronouncing his intellectual superiority, Bill Malone announced, “I am Bill Malone, and I am… asking you all to come to the football game this Friday.”
Between questions, commercials for local sponsors, many of which had been created for the show by Lisa Adams and MCHS students, were projected for the audience.
And, just like in real television, it didn’t take long before the attendees were groaning at the commercial interruptions.
All in all, both sides were able to answer most of the questions correct. Out of the thirty questions asked during the night, the fifth graders answered nineteen questions correctly, but the contestants finished with twenty-four, narrowly eking out their grade-school adversaries.
Jimmy Stokes concluded the event by thanking the Methodist Church for allowing the Partners in Education to use the Wesley building for the event and for the support of the local sponsors.
Certificates were given out to all of the fifth graders that took part in the event.
Sarah Burbach, Assistant Superintendent of Morgan County Schools, was happy with the event’s success.
“It went of really well,” stated Burbach. “Jimmy Stokes did a wonderful job as our Master of Ceremonies.”
“We completely sold out the show! It looks like we will be over the $3,000 mark.”
The Partners in Education Advisory Board advises anyone interested in supporting Partners in Education to donate to the partnership.
If you are interested, please contact the Madison-Morgan County Partners in Education by phone at 706-342-4454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Printed in the November 22, 2012 edition