February 3, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

More Than 400 Students To Attend Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl at VSU Feb. 7

VALDOSTA — More than 400 South Georgia students will face off in a challenge of reading mastery when Valdosta State University’s Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center hosts the annual Southern Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 7. The competition will begin at noon and continue for roughly five hours and will be held in the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services and the Jerry and Kay Jennett Lecture Hall. 

Over the course of seven rounds, participating students will test their knowledge of books from either the 2014-2015 Georgia Book Award (elementary and middle school students) or the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers (high school students) nominees lists. Two teams will go head to head during each fast-paced round, answering 10 questions using a quiz show-style system to “buzz in” with the correct answer and earn points.

The elementary, middle, and high school teams with the highest overall scores at the end of the Southern Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl will move on to compete at one of two divisional level events on Saturday, Feb. 21. The state final will be held on Saturday, March 7, at the University of Georgia.  

“It is a very exciting and intense event,” noted Dr. Gina M. Doepker, director of the Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center and associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education at VSU.

The Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl is open to students in grades fourth through 12th. It was initiated by its namesake, who, as a media specialist in DeKalb County, noticed that a little healthy competition helped her school’s students to become much more enthusiastic about reading. She has since retired.

Contact Dr. Gina M. Doepker at (229) 333-5625, (229) 333-5645, or gmdoepker@valdosta.edu to learn more.

Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Benefits

• Increases standardized test scores

• Increases reading comprehension

• Develops an appreciation for literature

• Enhances verbal communication skills

• Promotes cooperation 

• Builds self-esteem

• Develops team spirit

• Improves academic achievement

On the Web:



Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.