On July 21, 2018 Middlesboro Lodge hosted an Academic Quiz Contest for local youth who are now in the 7th, 8th, or 9th grades. Held at the Lodge building, the quiz consisted of 70 questions about American History and United States Geography, most of which were multiple choice. Prizes were funded by an ENF Beacon Grant, with a total of $1,700 in Walmart gift cards awarded to 13 different students. 1st and 2nd place finishers received medals, as well as $400 and $200 gift cards respectively. $100 cards were awarded to students with the next eleven high scores. All students also received Certificates of Participation.
After the quiz was completed pizza and soft drinks were provided to all contestants, parents and others present. According to ER Tommy Harrell, history and geography were chosen as the subjects for the quiz because of reports of wide spread concerns from the nation’s education leaders that students are struggling with these subjects with scores declining over the past few years because either schools and teachers have de-emphasized them or students themselves see little need or value in learning those subjects, or both.
For example, in a recent national sample of 8th graders who took standardized tests, just 18 percent scored at a level considered proficient in U.S. history, only 27 percent reached that level in geography and just 23 percent did so in civics. The lodge conceived the idea for the project from an article in the Oct. 2017 issue of the Elks magazine which featured a Lodge in Kansas sponsoring a similar competition. Middlesboro Lodge plans to continue this event annually during the school year with the hope that this kind of academic competition for these age students will help them see that studying and learning can have actual tangible and valuable rewards at an early age. It also might help to fuel some student’s interest in academics, and motivate them to apply themselves even more to their studies, at least in history and geography, and maybe other subjects as well.
Pictured above are the 13 prize winners and their respective schools: seated left to right, Jayden Lee, Yellow Creek; Dalton Simpson, Yellow Creek; Kaylynn Simpson, Yellow Creek; Baylie Lovett, Right Fork; Madilynn Jackson, Middlesboro Middle; standing left to right: Jordyn Lambert, Middlesboro Middle; John Saylor, Bell Central; Andrew Lambert, Middlesboro Middle; 1st place winner Kenneth Treece, Bell Central; 2nd place winner Maggie Jones, Bell Central; Morgan Lawson, Middlesboro Middle; Chris Lightfoot, Middlesboro Middle; and Colby Marcum, Yellow Creek.