They had already arrived in style. So it was just a joy ride Tuesday for students and teachers from Lyman Hall Elementary when they left school and took a limousine to a celebration lunch at Chili's.
"They deserved something a little bit special today,'' Lyman Hall principal Diana Anderson said of her students who recently returned from a strong showing in the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. "So that's why the limo ride and this meal. It's a celebration of all of their hard work.''
Lyman Hall was one of two Liberty County schools to advance to the state finals of the reading competition, taking second place among elementary schools.
Bradwell Institute also celebrated its showing at the state level of the competition, where it took second place in the High School Division.
"I've read 13 of the books,'' said Bradwell sophomore Aliyah Kindley. "You have to read them and remember what they said.''
"It's kind of like Family Feud, except not with trivia, with books,'' added Lyman Hall fifth grader Destany Thompson. "You read a book, you ask questions, you study the questions and you go to competition.''
Bradwell and Lyman Hall excelled at that competition.
Both schools advanced through three preliminary rounds before reaching the finals of a program that started in August and ended last week.
"I am so incredibly proud, incredibly happy and excited,'' said Bradwell media specialist Nikki Lukkarinen. "I couldn't be more proud of what they accomplished.''
"We were the only two schools from South Georgia that went up to North Georgia and competed against all North Georgia schools,'' added Lyman Hall library and media specialist Diana Anderson. "So to come out second place with two Liberty County schools, we are super excited.''
Some of the participants became changed students, realizing rewards that went well beyond a free lunch.
"I just happened to have the wrong kind of friends,'' said Lyman Hall fifth grader Devonte King. "So as we got into after-school practices and got new friends and it took my mind off the stuff I was doing.''
"I think that we put Lyman Hall on the map,'' added Anderson. "Sometimes we're an often overlooked school and I think this has put us on the map in the Liberty County School System.
Across the state as well.
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