Madison Carver, 9, was among the first to compete and won her initial round. “I’ve been studying really hard,” she said, but admitted struggling a bit with her six times tables.
Madison said she liked the event because “you get to do competition with your friends and it’s not about winning, it’s about having fun.”
Mason Zent, 8, also won his first round in the competition, but lost his second, a close, hard-fought match with Taylor Hatfield.
Mason said his parents helped him prepare using flash cards, adding that it was fun competing against his classmates.
“I think it’s pretty neat,” said Anthony Beane, one of about 15 high school students who served as proctors for the competition. “I never got to do anything like this when I was in third grade.”
Rowe, who dressed in a referee’s uniform while running the competition, immediately enlisted support from other teachers and Principal Chris Schnepp, who was on hand for the event.
Area businesses, including Dortee’s Drive In, Pizza King, Pizza Hut of Anderson, Kleenco, and Frosting and Crust bakery contributed prizes for winners. And student who participated received T-shirts.
Schnepp called the competition a great way to help motivate students who often struggle with mastering multiplication facts in the third grade.
“Who knows what the state is going to do next year, but it’s likely single multiplication will need to be mastered before they go on to the fourth grade,” he said.
Rowe said about 155 students in the four grades signed up for the competition. Students who didn’t participate brought books to read, but most of those kids seemed to be more interested in the excitement of the tournament.
“Now that they’ve seen it one time, I think we’ll have more sign up next year,” Rowe said.
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And the winners are Grand Champion: Kendall Parker Sixth-grade winner: Madison Zent Fifth-grade winner: Allie Gast Fourth-grade winner: Kendall Parker Third-grade winner: Aubrey Baer