2020-21 Competition Update

The Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl (HRRB) State Steering Committee has approved to host the regional and state competition virtually to adhere to state guidelines concerning the health and safety of all participants. Local school districts may choose to have a virtual competition via Google Meets, Teams or Zoom or traditional face-to-face competition. Individual teams will need to check with their local school districts to confirm the format for the local competition. After the local level of the HRRB, all competitions will be held virtually. Regional competitions will be held on February 20, 2021 and state competitions will be held on March 6, 2021.

Several school districts are sharing their ideas for a virtual HRRB competition. Please click on the links below to view their proposals and competition set-ups.

DeKalb Virtual Competition

DeKalb County Virtual Game Format

DeKalb County Moderator’s Script for Virtual Reading Bowl

DeKalb County Console Judge, Timekeeper and Scorekeeper Duties for Virtual Reading Bowl

HRRB Practice Bowl FAQ

Virtual Proposals

Clayton County School District’s Proposal

DeKalb County School District’s Proposal

Clayton Virtual Competition

Online Reading Bowl Planning

HRRB Schedule Template

HRRB Moderator’s Guide Online

Tips from Competitions

Mrs. Helen Ruffin, a dynamic and innovative Library Media Specialist at Sky Haven Elementary School in DeKalb County, created a unique reading competition in 1986. It was called The Reading Bowl and, in a competitive game format, questioned students about the content of the 20 Georgia Book Award Nominees each year. Her vision was to have teams, comprised of students from different schools, compete to test their knowledge of the selected books.

This idea came to her after serving on the Georgia Book Award Nomination Committee at the University of Georgia, in 1985. This book award began in the Department of Language Education at the University of Georgia’s College of Education and its purpose, according to their website is, “to foster a love of reading in the children of Georgia, and to introduce them to books of literary excellence”. From this experience Mrs. Ruffin shared her vision with her colleagues who embraced the idea and helped her press forward.

In 2000, after Mrs. Ruffin’s retirement, several Library Media Specialists formed the DeKalb County Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl (HRRB). Other school districts in Georgia heard about this unique reading initiative and soon wanted to join in the competition.

Creating a state-wide reading initiative: In 2003-2004 the Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl (HRRB) Steering Committee was created comprised of members from The Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) and the Georgia Library Media Association (GLMA).

With the help of this Steering Committee, the Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl (HRRB) is now open to students in grades 4-12 across the state. Elementary and middle school students read and are quizzed on the 20 Georgia Book Award Nominees, while high school students read and are quizzed on the 20 Georgia Peach Teen Book Award Nominees. The books change yearly.

Forming Georgia Districts and Regions: Today, the Georgia HRRB includes six geographic competition regions; North, East, West, Metro, Middle and South. All school districts in Georgia are divided into one of these regions.

From these six regions, two competition divisions have been formed: Division 1, which consists of the North, West and Metro HRRB Regions, and Division 2, which consists of the East, Middle and South HRRB Regions.

During the last few years, over 600 schools throughout Georgia have held competitions at the local school district level and have registered online for regional competitions.

  • Nikole Allen
    Connie Dowdy
    Janice Jackson
    Jacqueline Keeton
    Christine King
    Tamara Pealer-Johnson
    Kimberley Smiley
    Evelyn Smith
    Alease Taylor
    Deborah Vann
  • Pamela Taylor, HRRB Liaison, Instructional Coordinator, Department of Educational Media and Instructional Materials
    – Dr. Mary Thomas, Retired, HRRB Consultant

We Salute Mrs. Helen Ruffin, Founder of the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl and the HRRB Steering Committee members for their contributions to the literary development of Georgia students!