The Newbery Quiz Bowl recently celebrated its 25th anniversary at Kamehameha School in Keaau with 18 teams of students in grades 4-7 competing in the event. “The Wildcats” of Konawaena Elementary emerged as winners after all teams were presented a tie-breaker question.
The champions are Jared Barrett, Dillon Sumida, Sara Kimura, Natalie Kamigaki and Sean Kobayashi. Second place was captured by “The Lighthouse Hawaii Island Christian Home Educators” comprised of Jacob Rapoza, Jayden Wertz, Caitlyn Wertz, Carina Cook and Zachary Rapoza. In third place were “The Invincible Readers,” who were sponsored by Hilo Public Library. Members were Molly Russell, Phoebe Wyatt, Keiko Wolfson, and Clara Kraus. Fourth-place winners were “The Kaumana Reading Stars,” Kenny Heikes, Lauren Spencer, Makana Huddleston, Kadence Carvalho and Mikailee Palmerston.
The 15 other teams who put their heads together to determine answers to the 31 questions posed by Quiz Master Alice Moon were Haaheo, Hawaii Classical Christian Academy, Hilo Union, Holualoa, HPA Lower, HPA Middle, Kahakai, Kamehameha Middle, Kealakehe Elementary, Kealakehe Intermediate, Kohala Elementary, Konawaena Elementary, St. Joseph, Waiakea Elementary and Waikoloa home schoolers.
The silver anniversary of the NQB kicked off with rousing cheers led by the event’s creator, Julia Tao, retired librarian of Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School. She stressed that all participants in the quiz bowl were already winners for having read Newbery-recognized books. Co-chair and retired librarian Paula Kamiya announced the participating teams as they thanked Tao for her dedication and enthusiasm in promoting lifelong learning and the joy of reading quality literature.
After 25 fantastic years, Tao stepped down, but will continue to support this one-of-a-kind event in the state.
Guillmina Reis has accepted the challenge to assist Kamiya in keeping the NQB alive for island youngsters keen on reading the ever-growing number of Newbery books. Selected titles for the 2014-15 NQB have already been announced. A rapt audience of parents, administrators, peer supporters and volunteers observed the competition comfortably in the air-conditioned William Charles Lunalilo Integrated Facility.
The mood in the room switched from serious and pensive to wild jubilation when coveted prizes were awarded. Overjoyed student observers were included in the lucky number drawings. The “bookworms” were then invited to participate in fun indoor games. Organizers gratefully acknowledge Kamehameha School for use of the venue and all the businesses, groups, and individuals who generously donated prizes, monetary donations, and assistance.
In addition, gratitude goes to prize-master Lt. Col. Eric Shwedo of the Pohakuloa Training Area and the team advisors and coaches whose commitment and involvement enable the young book lovers to engage in friendly competition over excellent literature.