After competing in the semifinals on April 20, Oglesby, Horatio May Elementary Community Academy, Florence Nightingale Elementary, Louis Pasteur Elementary, Sidney Sawyer Elementary and John Whistler Elementary advanced to the finals, said Mia Giannetti, a spokeswoman for the YMCA.
The event also serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit YMCA. Individual tickets are $150 and proceeds would be used to help fund its youth programs.
DaWana Williamson, executive director for Urban Education Initiatives at the YMCA, said the schools competing are part of the YMCA’s Community Schools, a partnership with Chicago Public Schools. Students are provided with before school and afterschool activities — such as dance, drama and music — at a local YMCA.
“We’re excited for the culminating event of all of our weeks of hard practice,” Williamson said in a statement. “The students have learned so much and we’re looking forward to the community getting to know them better through this event.”
For the past six weeks, students brushed up on their knowledge of geography, literature and history to prepare for the final completion in the academic-bowl style competition.
In the end, Williamson said the event teaches students more than academics.
“While the fifth through eighth grade students have spent the last six weeks practicing after school and on Saturdays to prepare for the scholastic spectacular, they’re walking away with increased knowledge [in] math, science, geography and literature,” Williamson said. “From working in their teams, these children also are developing self confidence, teamwork and perseverance skills.”