By Tia Lynn Lecorchick
By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer ow many sides does a trapezoid have? Where did the Civil War begin? What is on the “tails” side of a nickel? If you know the answers, you might be as smart as a fifth grader, or at least a worthy competitor at the second annual “Are You Smarter Than A Morgan County Fifth Grader?” held on Nov. 21 at the Wesley Building of Madison’s First United Methodist Church.
Partners In Eduction, a group of community businesses and organizations partnering with the school system, put together the event. Judy Malcolm, member of the Partners In Education committee proposed the idea for this event and brought it to fruition.
“Last year’s event was such a success, we will only improve the event this year. The four schools benefited directly from funds raised, and we hope this event will become something the community looks forward to each year,” said Stacey Kirby, a member of Partners In Education.
“We did really well last year for our first year. We hope to do even better this year,” said Sarah Burbach, assistant superintendent of Morgan County Schools.
This year, the event raised nearly $2500 for Morgan County Schools. The money raised from this year’s event will be distributed between the four Morgan County schools to fund each schools “wish list.” “We are just so thrilled to give back to the kids and about the effort they put into this. They were so excited about to do this,” said Ray Stapleton, chairman of the Partners In Education committee. “It is a reward in and of itself to be giving back to these kids.”
The competition featured 10 Morgan County fifth graders who competed against 10 Morgan County community members. The fifth graders who played were Simon LeClair,Serenity Ward, Jeremiah Morgan, Molly Head, Blesson Tenson, Edward Nichols, Anders Medford, Michael Vaden, Regan Nash, and Melanie Howard.
The community members who played were Steve Schafer, Bruce Gilbert, Tom Wommack, Ellen Warren, Pat Stokes, Ty Snyder, Bob Monk, Dan Zant, Kathleen Bryant, and Gari Quiroz-Santis. Questions for the event were selected from standard grade-school curriculum. Categories included: First Grade Spelling, Fifth Grade Math, Fourth Grade Social Studies, Fourth Grade Science, Third Grade Language Arts, Second Grade Math, First Grade Language Arts, Fifth Grade Social Studies, Third Grade Social Studies, Second Grade Science. First United Methodist Church of Madison agreed to house the event to show their support for the public education system in Morgan County.
“We share your desire to grow our children, to help them become molders of dreams,” said Senior Pastor of First Methodist Church Grady Mosley. Jimmy Stokes, executive director of Georgia Association of Education Leaders was the emcee for the event. “Support the Partners in Education because they support our schools….they believe in investing in children. There is nothing in this world that is a better investment than investing in children,” Stokes told the crowd.
“This is a celebration of our extraordinary school system in Morgan County.” The participating children were presented with plaques as the event came to a close. “Everyone did a wonderful job!” said Ty Snyder, principal of Morgan County Elementary School. Burbach, too, was pleased with the outcome. “This event brings the best of Morgan County together — our schools, our children, our leaders, local businesses, and our community. We all truly are Partners in Education!” said Burbach.