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For immediate release — Feb. 9, 2012
(DALLAS) — When the call for teams went out last fall for the next Super Bowl of brain teasers and crowd pleasers, they answered. And when the call for correct answers went out this January, they answered, too — more than 30 teams and 150 African-American young men who had prepared for several months to compete against each other and win first prize.
The Dallas County Community College District’s third annual African American Male Academic Bowl — called “Aiming for the Stars” — tested the brain power and academic skills of those 4th- through 7th-graders at North Lake College on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012.
The winning teams were: first place, grades 4-5, Thomas Haley Elementary in Irving (team members Kentre Williams, D’Nario Proctor and Pierre McCoy Jr.); second place, grades 4-5, Lancaster Elementary in Lancaster (team members Jamal Adams, Jonathan Howard and Meccai Morgan); first place, grades 6-7, Lagow Elementary in Dallas (team members Alonso Castro, Gerardo Ramirez and Sir Dean Moore); and second place, grades 6-7, Project Still I Rise Aerospace Team (members Tasmin Given and Eric Adejuwan of McCowan Middle School in DeSoto; and Gabriel Lewis of Harmony School of Nature and Athletics in Dallas).
Presented by DCCCD, Project Still I Rise Inc. and the University of Texas at Dallas, the program featured a day of intense competition and mental focus by area students who attend elementary and middle schools in Dallas County and — for the first time — some from Tarrant County and Austin.
Facts flew, and teams faced off during the day-long event. The program is designed to encourage young African-American men to study hard, work hard and achieve their dreams ... to aim high and succeed.
“Aiming for the Stars,” which is the area’s “Super Bowl” of brainy competition, seeks to address the achievement gaps, plus academic and social pitfalls, facing African-American males. Starting at the elementary and middle school levels is key, based on a number of academic studies.
“The African American Male Academic Bowl is designed to liberate, validate and accentuate passion among African-American males to excel in school and beyond,” said David Robinson, who directs the program and is DCCCD’s coordinator of outreach. “This event is intended to be a positive forum that promotes out-of-school learning and provides supplemental access to information and relationships that can be of paramount importance to life-long academic success.”
The day became a battle to beat the clock (and other teams) by providing the correct answers to questions that were posed in a “Jeopardy”-style format. The competition was keen as team members tried to out-think and outscore their opponents by choosing questions from one of five categories and earning point values based on difficulty. Categories included African-American history, mathematics, science, African-American “firsts” and geography. The two divisions — 4th/5th grades and 6th/7th grades — held single-elimination rounds during the competition, culminating with a championship round for each group that determined the academic bowl winners.
Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr., DCCCD’s chancellor, and Dr. David Daniel, president of the University of Texas at Dallas, co-chaired the event.
For more information, contact Robinson at (214) 378-1728 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the “Aiming for the Stars” Academic Bowl website at http://www.aimingforthestars.org.
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Press contact: Ann Hatch214-378-1819; email@example.com