Clinton GT program home to Quiz Bowl
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – Part of the “gifted and talented” program at Clinton Primary School is an educational heir to a once-famous television game show.

Under the auspices of the Arkansas Governor’s Quiz Bowl Association, the Hope Public Schools’ Quiz Bowl teams are part of the legacy of the General Electric College Bowl, a popular radio and television student quiz program which aired from 1953 to 1970, which sparked a trend that has remained popular today. In the Hope schools, Quiz Bowl competition begins at the primary school level.

CPS Gifted/Talented teacher Alvis Conway said her third and fourth grade students participate in the Quiz Bowl competition, in part, because of what it means for their future.

“We have had some students that went on and played in college,” Conway said. “It’s something they can carry throughout their education.”

The Quiz Bowl concept follows that of the original College Bowl, where two teams of four members each compete head-to-head in the first round in a contest. Advantage in the contest is determined through a “toss up” question which any player can answer. A correct answer moves a team to the second round of play by that team, where four “bonus” questions are asked, allowing a team to amass points early. However, an incorrect “toss up” answer gives the opposing team an opportunity to steal the round.

The winning “toss up” team may advance into the “speed round” where team members have 60 seconds to correctly answer 10 questions.

The CPS Quiz Bowl program is the foundation for more advanced teams at Beryl Henry Elementary School, Yerger Middle School and Hope High School.

“The concept is to have students think critically,” Conway said.

The program has been in place at CPS for seven years, but Conway has a total of 17 years of experience.

She conducts team try-outs at the beginning of each school year, and the highest scorers earn a place on the team. Currently, there are seven CPS team members, including captain Tara Henry, Kayla Wyatt, Bethany White, Kaden Brown, Isaac Love, and Jose Martinez.

Those seven competed recently at Murfreesboro in the second of the two competitions which the CPS team is allowed each year. Martinez, Brown, Henry and Wyatt participated in the first competition at Ashdown, along with Tatyanna Flemons, Sahara Martin, Wendy Esquivel, and Gage Eastun. The team took fourth place in the Ashdown competition, Conway said.

At this level, teams are not allowed to advance in state competition.

“Once they get to Beryl Henry, they get to participate,” Conway said.

Competition team members at CPS are generally fourth grade students, although third grade students are at times allowed to travel to competitions.

“Normally I’ll have some that will go along and gain a little experience,” Conway said.

She said she hopes to expand the competitive reach of the CPS program, and Conway appreciates the parental support which it has received.

“This year we’ve had great parent support, and it has been very encouraging for the students,” she said. “We’re working on some things in the planning stages to have other opportunities to do some things.”