Mark Twain Elementary students win African-American Male Academic Bowl


The African American Success Initiative sponsored a team of three young men from Mark Twain Elementary to participate in the African American Male Academic Bowl. The competition was held Saturday, Jan. 28, and the Mark Twain Elementary team won the elementary school division!

Jim Parsons coached the Mark Twain team of Demarcus Banks, Corey Hamilton and Jadarrion Waites with help from school counselor Keith Anderson.

“It was amazing seeing the team of three young scholars from Mark Twain Elementary win the finals,” Parsons said. “I know this will be something they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

“With this being the ninth year of the Bowl, it has come to a full circle,” said David Robinson, event coordinator and founder of the African American Male Academic Bowl. “Young men that started competing in the fourth-grade are now seniors. This event helps to increase the enthusiasm of learning and encourage out of school time learning.”

Forty-five teams registered and 42 competed for the championship. For winning the elementary school division, the three students received a Lenovo Laptop and Parsons got a Visa Gift Card.

The purpose of the event is:

  • To promote academic achievement among African-American males;
  • To encourage African-American male youth to continue to excel in their educational endeavors;
  • To encourage team work, peer mentoring, peer accountability, peer learning and competitive academic completion among African-American male youth;
  • Increase male mentoring relationship with young African-American males;
  • To counteract the negative images of African-American male youth in all aspects of the media;
  • To increase out of school time learning for African-American male underrepresented communities.

The African-American Male Academic Bowl is an academic tournament that invites teams comprised of three youths and one team coach to engage in a single-elimination tournament, which tests them on a wide range of topics. Each round is designed as a game that quizzes two teams within a designated time frame.

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