STORY AND PHOTO BY CIERRA HARPER, FNN REPORTER, WOODRIDGE BUREAU
APRIL 22, 2014. Each year the Saturday Learning Camp hosts its annual Challenge Mania academic event entitled “Igniting the Flames of Achievement”. This annual event takes place the Saturday before the DCCAS. Students come together from each of the Friendship campuses: Blow Pierce, Chamberlain, Collegiate, Tech Prep, and Woodridge. It’s an entire day filled with test prep review, academic games and competitive teamwork with problem solving, critical thinking. It’s tons of fun.
Teachers from each of the campuses come together to provide an hour filled with specific subject matter content on various levels. The classes were divided into various groups. The idea was to review and sharpen reading and math skills before the upcoming big assessment. Then, the moment came when everyone had to gather in the gym to share chants, cheers, watch performances, show their banners and display their school spirit. Moments later the real competition began.
I can still remember the butterflies going through my stomach as they announced for the 8th graders to make their way to the table. "Don't be scared, you can do this!" kept going through my head. Repeating this same phrase over and over again, I soon began to calm down. Walking up to the podium alongside all the other campuses, I took a final glance at my Woodridge classmates: Jordan Baker, Dionna McClaurin and Chloe Moore as they cheered me on. I began to feel nervous once again so I immediately stopped looking their way.
Now standing at the podium, I listened for the announcer’s voice on the microphone saying "First Question!" As she read the first poem aloud, I had my hand ready to hit the yellow buzzer. After she finished reading the question, my hand hit the buzzer. She looked at me, "Woodridge, your answer please?" After speaking my answer, the announcer said, "That's correct." I could feel the excitement going through my body as my Woodridge peers cheered me on. "Yes, I got this in the bag. Next question came, and I might have been feeling a little bit too confident because I began to stumble. After getting the first two questions correct, I messed up on the third question. Hearing the announcer’s voice say "No, I’m sorry that's incorrect" made me nervous and upset. "Shoot, how did I not know this?” continued to roll around my head.” I obviously was making my way back to the top because I was given another chance to answer the question when the girl from Chamberlain got the question incorrect. I continued answering the questions until finally the contest was over.
As a result, I wasn’t the only person to win the final grand prize which was a Kindle Fire. Woodridge won a total of 4 rounds out of 7. Grades 3rd grade, 5th, 7th and 8th all came in first place in both reading and math. The Woodridge Eagles soared over Challenge Mania this year. In the end, Southeast Academy was awarded the Spirit Stick for their banner and outstanding school spirit. Maybe next year, Woodridge can soar even more by taking home that spirit stick, but for now, four Kindles out of seven is just fine!
Cierra Harper is an 8th Grader, FPCS-Woodridge Campus.