Glenpool Schools discuss Challenge Bowl success
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Glenpool Public Schools’ Johnson O’Malley Program coordinator Angela Jackson’s eyes light up when she talks about her favorite part of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Challenge Bowl.
“I love the history. I love being able to just go through it all and you know talk about it. Customs and traditions are always my favorite and then the students and the connections we make with the students,” Jackson said.
GPS first started participating in the Challenge Bowl with one elementary team. Since then, the amount of students has grown to an average of six to seven teams participating each year for the elementary and middle school levels and a three team average for high school level teams.
The school has gained a reputation of success during the Challenge Bowl in all divisions.
Elementary staff member and Challenge Bowl sponsor Connie Wilson explained how the introduction during the elementary years is sometimes the first exposure students have of MCN.
Wilson said building the background knowledge and helping students understand the relevance of the Nation attributes to the success of the teams.
“It’s not about going to win. We want people to realize what we’ve learned and to demonstrate that knowledge,” Wilson said.
The studying habits of the school are not structured as the quintessential question and answer studying, but rather a complete comprehension of information provided by the Challenge Bowl committee.
Wilson said with the study guide provided written at an adult level, the content is broken down to an upper elementary school level.
Jackson and Wilson correspond with each other in teaching the material for the competition, even integrating the material with what the students have learned in their own classrooms.
If a student is having difficulty answering from a section in the study guide, Jackson will prompt them to relate it to U.S. history.
Students who participate will also be asked to elaborate on Creek history during their regular classroom learning.
Jackson and Wilson said there are a number of Native and non-Native participants from the school.
There is a tremendous support system within the school for the Challenge Bowl teams, and the school superintendent is also Muscogee (Creek).
The school system has developed curriculum for the Muscogee (Creek) language, offering classes at the middle school and high school level as a foreign language class.
The MCN Challenge Bowl will be the first three Fridays in February at the College of the Muscogee Nation, starting with the high school division, then middle school division and will wrap up with the elementary division.