Incarcerated team claims Math Bowl trophy over staff

On man in shirt and tie and five men in prison blue attire.
The Peer Literacy Mentor team claimed victory in the recent Math Bowl at North Kern State Prison. From left are K. McGrath, PLMP Coordinator, B. Armstrong, E. Ortiz (kneeling), M. Ali, S. Teague, and T. Tran.

Two teams entered but only one team was victorious in the North Kern State Prison Math Bowl. At stake was a shining trophy and bragging rights for either a team of prison staff or a team of incarcerated competitors.

The teams competed in three rounds of math challenges such as the Quadratic Formula, factoring, and slope. In round one, team members solved problems on the white board individually. Round two was a relay event involving all team members while the final round found teams solving each problem as quickly as possible.

The May 12 event, sponsored by the Peer Literacy Mentoring Program, is organized by program coordinator K. McGrath and Facility Captain J. Jaime.

The incarcerated team included T. Tran, E. Ortiz, M. Ali, S. Teague, and B. Armstrong, all literacy mentors. They competed against Correctional Officers E. Garcia and B. Cura, as well as Senior Psychologist Dr. L. Hayami. 

An audience of staff and incarcerated cheered on the teams.

The competition was intense, coming down to the last round before a winner could be declared.

After the speed round, the literacy mentors took the trophy with a 15-12 victory. 

What is the Peer Literacy Mentoring Program?

The program provides incarcerated students the opportunity to receive training as a literacy mentor. In turn, they provide literacy services to those who do not possess a high school diploma or equivalency. Math Bowl is a way to raise awareness about the literacy program. As a bonus, it also gives staff and the incarcerated a chance to interact in a friendly competition.

Story by incarcerated competitor B. Armstrong and prison Principal R. Zimmerman.

Follow us on YouTubeFacebook and Twitter.

Read more rehabilitation stories.