For most Frenship and Lubbock-Cooper students, Monday was a day off, but about 2,000 elementary and middle school students from both districts met for an academic contest.
Elementary and middle school students are not yet old enough to compete in the UIL academic contests that qualify for state, but they took part Monday in versions of the same contests to prepare for the day when they can compete in high school.
Kimberly Miller, the mother of two students competing on Monday, said the competition offered her children the opportunity to learn extra skills in areas in which they already show interest.
Her daughter, sixth-grader Shelby Miller, competed in Calculator Applications and Music Memory.
“Music memory was probably the hardest one, but the calculator (contest) was probably the most fun,” Shelby said. “I love math.”
Her brother, second-grader Justin Miller, said he began learning chess this year and participated in a contest on chess puzzles. He said he had a good time at the contest.
Another student who participated in the middle school music memory competition, Breanna Washington, said she hopes this sort of academic competition will leave her more prepared for college some day.
“I just feel like I should work more on my education,” Breanna said, noting she is looking for opportunities to work on academics.
Sarah Burleson, an organizer of the event for Frenship ISD and the district’s science curriculum coordinator, said there were 800 middle schoolers competing, and the same number of fourth- and fifth-graders. About 550 second- and third-graders also competed on Monday.
“This is really just another great way for our kids, whether it be Frenship or Lubbock-Cooper, to have the opportunity to excel at academics and just to show what they know and a way for them to come together and have that competition atmosphere,” Burleson said.
Keith Patrick, director of enterprise at Frenship, said the district hosts the competition with Lubbock-Cooper because it enriches the students and gives them some experience in academic competitions.