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Bells Elementary student places first in the state, fourth in nation

Rubi Morales-Flores was recognized by her principal Lauren Behie for her major accomplishment during her first-grade year. Photo submitted

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 #4 First In Math player in the nation, in all grades, Rubi Morales-Flores! When the contest ended on April 29, it was determined she had solved thousands of math problems on her grade level, earning her thousands of stickers.
The dedicated first-grader attends Bells Elementary School in rural Colleton County. “Rubi is a very hard worker who excels in all of her subjects. She is an outstanding math student but most importantly, she never gives up in anything we are doing in class. I am very proud of her,” said Rubi’s first-grade teacher Kawaii Elliott.
This was Bells Elementary’s first year participating in the nationwide contest called First In Math. The internet-based game makes learning math skills fun while also encouraging children to use the computer. According to Elliott, Rubi was able to use some class time as well as computer lab time to work her math problems. She also was able to utilize an afterschool program she is involved in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to use the school computers to participate in the game. Because the game is available on the internet, Rubi told her teacher she also did some at home.
“We had no idea Rubi had done so well with First In Math. Our computer teacher Mrs. White ran the end-of-the year numbers and realized she was first in our school. After a little more research, she suddenly realized Rubi was first in the state and fourth in the nation, leaving Mrs. White in shock and awe,” said Elliott.
According to Robert Sun, creator of First In Math, to place this high at such a young age takes incredible focus and great resolve. Seeing young people succeed like Rubi makes him proud and keeps him hopeful for our nation’s future.
Rubi was recognized throughout the year as a leader in the game. Her name was announced over the intercom and her classmates knew she was the one they had to catch and beat in order to be named the winner for first grade, but little did they know the seven-year-old was ranked nationally.
For her efforts, Rubi received two plaques on awards day at Bells Elementary. Because her computer teacher could not believe how well she had done, she saw to it that Rubi received more than just an award. During the assembly, Rubi was also given a brand new shiny bike!
It is estimated around 20 million students in 10,000 schools participate in First In Math, which really puts Rubi’s accomplishments into perspective. Rubi is looking forward to next school year, in the new Bells Elementary. She plans to continue to play First In Math and to continue to give the other kids in the nation a run for their money.

Christie Slocum (330 Posts)