Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?
Twelve local educational and civic leaders are going to try to best a bunch of fifth-graders from Moore County, testing their knowledge in a face-off with elementary school youth.
This entertaining contest is the second annual "Are You Smarter Than a Moore County Schools' Fifth-Grader?" event, benefiting the Public Education Foundation, to be held tonight at the Robert E. Lee auditorium of Pinecrest High School at 6 p.m.
Andrew Lyons, president of the foundation's board of directors, notes that for 28 years the Public Education Foundation has been serving Moore County Schools by funding creative educational projects developed by K-12 teachers that otherwise would go unfunded.
"The 'Fifth-Grader' event is our main fundraiser, and all of the monies will go directly to the schools in the form of funded grants," he says.
Two board members, Susan Sanders and Michele Gowan, came up with the plan for the event a year ago, inspired by the experience of Sanders' daughter, who had participated in a similar competition in Greenville, S.C.
"We were looking for a new way to fund grants for teachers in Moore County for their creative, innovative classroom projects - ideas that enrich their classrooms," says Lyons. "We raised $26,000 in our inaugural event, and every penny was reinvested in Moore County Schools through grants to teachers."
Funds are raised through sponsorships, with Wells Fargo Bank being the primary sponsor. The bank partnered with the foundation last year and will repeat their participation this year.
Other sponsors come from the business community, individuals and nonprofit groups.
According to Sanders, in keeping with the theme of "Giving Wings to Ideas," an additional fundraising scheme involves each school decorating a birdhouse, all of which are displayed in the lobby of the auditorium on the night of the event.
Although no tickets are sold or -admission charged, people attending the event get a chance to contribute to the cause by giving money to -whichever school they choose, by -placing their donation in that school's birdhouse.
"We also have donation jars at each school in the weeks leading up to the event for use by student and faculty to drop in their contributions," Sanders says.
Gowan adds, "The students themselves are so enthusiastic, and really get drawn into the spirit of the event, which makes it doubly rewarding for the board members and for the audience."
Technically, it's quite a production. Among other features, there is a large clock measuring the response time, and the questions will be shown on a screen so everyone in the audience will be able to view them as they are presented.
Representing the educational "celebrities" are Marc Bergin, deputy superintendent; Rose Cooper, principal of the year; Stephanie Monroe, teacher of the year; Pinecrest High School's football coach, Chris Metzger; Mike Apple, Pinecrest math teacher and basketball coach for the Sandhills Flyers; and Jenny Purvis, North Moore High School principal.
Patrick Coughlin, president of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, will once again be the MC for the evening. He is also on the board of directors, and lightheartedly suggests that he volunteered for the duty so he wouldn't have to be one of the celebrity contestants.
The "celebrities" who will match wits with the students this year are Eric Corbett, owner of Chick-fil-A; Mickey Brown, from the Robbins office of Thigpen and Jenkins law firm; John Nagy, editor of The Pilot; Janet Kenworthy; of The Rooster's Wife; Anita Holt, of St. Joseph of the Pines; and Dana Garner, of Sarvis Management.
They will have to deal with questions prepared by the curriculum staff of the Moore County school system, all of which are tied in to the fifth-grade program of study of math, science, English and social studies.
Some of the questions last year's adults and students dealt with included selecting the correct response out of a possible four answers to "What is a noun?" and "Where did the first colony settle in North Carolina?" and a scientific query about which of four by-products is produced by decomposition of organic matter in a compost heap.
Sanders explains the format for "Are You Smarter than a Moore County Schools' Fifth-Grader?" is a little different from the popular television show of the same name. >
"Three students are chosen from each of the 12 Moore County >schools that have fifth-grade classes," she says. "Each school has one celebrity who works with the school team. >That team of three students and one celebrity is partnered with another team from another school. >The partnered teams consist of six students and two celebrities, and the two partnered teams >that have the highest score will meet in a final round to determine the champions of the event."
Will the winning team from last year's "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?" which included students from Sandhills Farm Life and West Moore, be able to successfully defend their title?
Why not plan on attending this enjoyable, educational, and worthwhile event and join in the fun?
Contact Pinehurst writer Mary Elle Hunter at email@example.com.
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