BY MR. SHA BAZZ
ST. PETERSBURG — The Friends of the James Weldon Johnson Library held its annual Mathematics Bee July 15 for school aged youth entering Kindergarten through sixth grade. Even though bad weather threatened the event, 25 children showed up and out.
The Math Bee was as sweet as the Spelling Bee held earlier this summer. As the facilitator, Erica Hardison read aloud various questions and the contestants were quickly able to add, subtract, multiply or divide in their heads. Contestants had 15 seconds to answer, but on average answered within less than seven. (That’s about a third of the time allowed).
Now that the Spelling and Mathematics Bees have left the hive, there is one Bee left. The Geography Bee will take place August 12 at the library, located at 1059 18th Ave. S. This Bee is busy with names of countries and cities, but also asks students to identify landmarks and differences between things such as a peninsula and a plateau, or an island and the continent of Australia. Maybe a challenge will be to name an island-continent.
Parents and contestants can pick up the study sheets at the library.
The spirit of the Bees is to encourage learning and studying during the summer as well as promoting literacy in the winter, spring and autumn.
This year for the first time the Friends, which include volunteers from the community and partnership with the Johnson Branch Library staff, offered volunteer-based tutoring for participants during the week leading up to the Bees. The Masonic Lodge #109 contributed gift cards to the winners.
The Friends also celebrate literacy with a Literacy Festival in March behind the Johnson Branch Library with free books, arts and crafts, bucket drumming, storytelling along with contests and entertainment.
The top three contestants in the 2015 Summer Mathematics Bee:
K-2nd Grade: Jake Hamilton (1st Place) Christian Murray (2nd Place) and Victoria Paunov (3rd Place)
Grades 3 and 4: Hayden Smith (1st Place), Cameron Temple (2nd Place) and Jonathan Miller (3rd Place)
Grade 5 and 6: Marissa Baney (1st Place), Kaylanna Hughes (2nd Place) and Jonah Starks (3rd Place)