Teams from New Smyrna Beach High and Ormond Beach Middle School went home with the top prizes at this year’s annual Black history competition staged by the Daytona Beach Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.
The New Smyrna team was comprised of 14-year-old twins Jaida and Jasmine Purkiss, Alexis Merrick, 15, and Gabbriella Henderson, 15. Veteran educator Juliet Austin served as their coach. Each girl received a laptop computer.
“We love doing this for the kids and the community,” said Valerie W. Lowery, chairwoman of the Daytona Beach Section’s brain bowl committee. The event, which took place Feb. 22 at Daytona State College, is open to both high school and middle school students. Schools, churches, clubs and other organizations are invited to enter teams.
Members of the team from Ormond Beach Middle were Shania Pope, Azaline Thompson, Corey Sheperd and Cameron McClaine. The team was coached by Constance Poitier.
The winners each received a tablet device.
Part of ‘Educate to Elevate’ program
Lola C. Young, president of the Daytona Beach Section, said the group started the event almost a decade ago to fill a void in local observances of Black History Month and also as part of its “Educate to Elevate” program, part of its national mandate.
“We would like to thank all of the businesses and residents that donate funds to help us put this program on,” added Eyvette Presley, co-chairman of the committee.
Judges for this year’s competition were Dr. Winifred Johnson and Dr. Ray Victor, both of Bethune-Cookman University; Dr. Roberta Brown-Carew, from Valencia Community College; and Monique Reed, an educator in the Port St. Lucie school system.
The National Council of Negro Women Inc. was founded by Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935. The non-profit 501©(3) organization works to improve the lives of women and their communities. Membership is open to men and women regardless of race.
For more information about the Daytona Beach Section, call 386-253-1753.