Elementary students study, raise money to improve school - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Elementary students study, raise money to improve school

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Volunteers came in from all over the area, to help ask the students their questions. Volunteers came in from all over the area, to help ask the students their questions.
YANKTON, S.D. (KTIV) -

When you enter a gymnasium, you may first think of athletic competition.

These chairs are not for an academic exercise, though. It's called the Mindcore Marathon,  a question and answer marathon session for all students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Beadle Elementary school in Yankton.

"I got kind of nervous at first because I'm not really good at trivia and challenges," said Caleb Roy, a fifth grader.

After weeks of preparing, Beadle's fifth graders were the first to step up to the chairs.

"I think they're really hard questions, but some of them are kind of easy," said Peyton Tramp, a fifth grader.

The kindergartners have to memorize answers to 50 questions. It gets progressively tougher for the other grades. The questions are all based on state standards and curriculum. Students were given five weeks to study and memorize them.

"So, I thought there were going to be hard and long, and I'm like, no wait, this is actually kind of easy because we've been studying this in school," said Roy.

Plus, each correct answer could mean more money for the school.

"They've gone out and got pledges," said DeeRhonda Anderson, a special education instructor and organizer of the Mindcore Marathon.

"I had 5 cents from my dad per question I get right," said Tramp.

To help assist the teachers, the school brought in some recognizable faces, including some local celebrities.

"I think showing them that education is really, really helpful will inspire them to always pursue education as a No. 1 thing and everything else after that," said Jessica Albers, Miss South Dakota 2013 and a volunteer for the competition.

Students were dedicated to scoring high. Some made it a daily habit.

"I take them home every night and I study with my brother. He's a little bit younger than me," said Tramp.

"Parents could be stumped at home, and then sign that they had been stumped by a certain question," said Anderson.

Even the principal was on his guard, studying so he wouldn't be stumped. Once the students got into it, they were more than ready for the competition.

"They've just been really spreading enthusiasm and to get fourth and fifth graders to spread enthusiasm to the younger kids, it usually goes the other way around," said Anderson.

Their teachers are hoping that energy carries these students forward.  At the end of the session, students raised a total of $7,000. That will help them buy computer software for their lab.

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