On Monday February 19th, 2007, at Riverside Community College, The Riverside African American Historical Society, (RAAHS) hosted the 6th Academic Bowl for the Inland Empire. Eleven teams from Riverside, Moreno Valley, Norco, Redlands, and Rubidoux high schools and churches participated, with attendance over 300. Canyon Springs High School, the winner, strategically battled Norco High School in the championship round. The teams were very competitive. Rubidoux High School and Kansas Avenue Seventh Day Adventist Church were third and fourth place finishers. "It feels good to know a Society provides intellectual access to information...Black history and the digital divide in one competition," stated Jalani Bakari, Co-Chair of the Academic Bowl and Board Member on the Historical Society."
The level of support and enthusiasm for the Academic Bowl this year was very impressive. The community came out and supported the teams, as well as, providing financial, in-kind support and laptop COMPUTERS. Five of them! Brad Hudson, Riverside's City Manager was instrumental in connecting the Society with ACS, Inc., a global information technology company acting and working locally in Riverside, to enthusiastically donate computers to the winners of the Academic Bowl, Canyon Springs High School. The second place winners received Apple I-pods, along with receiving a certificate and medal for placing. Additionally, the society was able to select a talented student participant in the academic bowl for a computer based on their need and enthusiasm in the competition. The winner was Michael Carter, a sophomore at Riverside Poly High School. "It is hard to believe how fast these students pressed the button and gave the answer," said Jeff Clayton, Moreno Valley resident, volunteer, and Executive Director of the James Wesley Vines Foundation. "The excitement is in the intensity and hard work these students put in to participate," stated math teacher Jonathan Smith of Norco High School whose team finished second. Information about Historically Black Colleges and Universities, local history past and present, obituaries of notable African Americans from 2005 and 2006, readings from Before the Mayflower, by Lerone Bennet, Jr., and a series of articles in the Black Voice newspaper provided the basis for questions. The winning team consisted of four students from Canyon Springs High School: Oman Agboghida, captain, Ariel Campbell, Brianna Bridgmon and Damaris Williams. The coach was William Prudhomme, Math teacher at Canyon Springs. The second place team members from Norco High School were William Ibekwe, Aline Hankey, Brittany Brown and Melanie Stovall, and were coached by Jonathan Smith. Event moderators for the day were Dr. Kennon Mitchell, Regina Brown Wilson, Dr. Joan Roberts, and Dr. Ed Bush. Jalani Bakari moderated the final round. Judges like Ameal Moore (past Riverside city councilman) Dr. Vincent Moses (retired), Jack Clarke, Jr., Dr. Benita Roberts(retired), Professor Paul Green Ph.D-UCR, Dr. Kristi Woods-RCC, Dr. Norman Towels, and Hugh Layton and others made the day smooth and wonderful. Undre Baker from Subway, Inc. provided food and refreshments for the event. Special thanks goes to Brad Hudson and ACS, Inc. for the computers; Riverside Community College for the facilities, Alicia Lee, Beverly Barlin, Gladys Walker, Sue Strickland, Dorella Anderson and Jalani Bakari for participating on the committee. RAAHS also thanks immensely the community for their support. See you next year on Monday, February 18, 2008.
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