Saturday was National Grammar Day and the end of a fantastic Read Across America Week, so it made for the perfect day to host the 37th Annual Nan Rushing Write-off sponsored by Barr Law Offices, LLC of Statesboro. While individuals from all four of the district’s middle schools could be found among each category’s individual winners, it was Southeast Bulloch Middle School who won the overall grade level (6-8) and team trophies.
Students from Southeast Bulloch Middle School, Portal Middle High School, Langston Chapel Middle School and William James Middle School competed as individuals in eight English language arts categories including capitalization/punctuation, mental concentration, persuasive speech, narrative writing, persuasive writing, vocabulary, spelling, and usage/language expression. Their scores and placements earned points for overall school team scores. Awards were given to the top two scoring individuals for each grade level (sixth, seventh, eighth) in each category, for each overall grade level team, and the overall winning school. The event was coordinated by Jessica Blanton, an English teacher at Southeast Bulloch, with assistance from other middle school language arts teachers across the district.
The competition was started in 1985 by then language arts teacher Nan Rushing, who had received a $1,000 mini-grant from the school system to begin a writing event in Nevils. Now 94, Rushing, remains part of the annual competition’s awards ceremony.
“Thank you for taking your Saturday morning to compete in English language arts,” Rushing said as she spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of parents, students, and teachers gathered in Southeast Bulloch High School’s auditorium. “This competition reminds me how important language arts is.”
Of the 10 mini-grants awarded in 1985, by former School Superintendent Ed Wynn, the Nan Rushing Write-off and the Penny Sikes Math Tournament are the two remaining programs that have stood the test of time and offered a valuable tool for encouraging students in math and language arts.