Winning a state championship for the school was “a long time coming,” said team sponsor and media specialist Susan Singletary.
The school’s last state championship came about 20 years ago for slow-pitch softball.
This marks the third year Lithia Springs participated in the Reading Bowl.
The Lithia team defeated cross-county rival Douglas County High School in the county Kathy Brock Reading Bowl tournament, and went on from there to take on challengers leading to the state 2013 Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Championship.
Preparing for reading bowl competition is pretty much a year-round process, Singletary explained. Returning students begin during the school year and continue throughout the summer. New team members begin in September.
“There are 20 books nominated each year and the students get quizzed on the books in “Jeopardy”-style,” she added. “Students really have to know the content of those 20 books.”
Books were selected by the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teens Committee, made up of public and school librarians, who selected what they considered outstanding books for high school-aged readers.
Some of the 20 books the students read for the Reading Bowl competition included “Glow” by Amy Kathleen Ryan; “Now is the Time for Running,” by Michael Williams; and “Between the Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys.
All of the books selected were on the young adult level and recent titles from the past five years, said Singletary, who co-sponsored the Lithia Springs team with Charlene Winnette.
This marked the first year the students had their own buzzing devices to buzz in first to answer, not unlike competing in “Jeopardy.” The buzzers was funded through a grant Singetary obtained for the team.
Team members this year were made up of 10th- through 12th-grade students.
Two seniors, Rashard Leonard, in his first year of competition, and Arianna Smith, in her second year, made up the seven-member team.
Other team members, Jessica Glenn, Nicky Oyedepo, Idiatou Diallo, Hannah Meise and Alexander Nichols, plan on defending their Reading Bowl championship trophy next year.
“All are a group of readers and academic scholars,” said Singletary.
The students agreed that being on the team was a fun way to get comprehension practice.
The reading team also has bonded with each other from the experience, calling it “like a family.”