February Fifth Grade Challenge Update: Community Participants Start to Take Shape

February 24, 2016

The Foundation’s signature event, “Are You Up to the Fifth Grade Challenge,” is less than three months away and valued members of the community are choosing to take part.

Montgomery County District 2 Councilmember Craig Rice has been selected as one of the four contestants who will play along with the students. “I am
looking forward to this program not just to showcase how MCPS is doing a great job educating our students but also to prove to my daughters just how smart I
am,” stated Rice. “I think I'll do extremely well in math because I was in the MCPS math, science, computer science magnet program, but I am a little concerned about language arts.”

Rice, who was first elected to the County Council in November 2010, is the youngest African American to ever serve on the nine-member Council and only the second African American man to serve in that role.  Rice is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County, graduating from the Talented and Gifted Program at
Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring.

“I look forward to having some fun, remembering some things that I've forgotten, learning some things that I might not have, and helping to raise a lot of money for the MCPS educational foundation,” Rice said about the upcoming evening.

Kimberly Oliver Burnim, a consulting teacher and former kindergarten teacher at Broad Acres, has accepted the role of Teacher of the Class in the production. Burnim was titled National Teacher of the Year in 2006 and named one of the “28 Most Influential Black Women” by Essence magazine in 2011. In addition to teaching, she is part of the curriculum board for, which provides a comprehensive and engaging online curriculum to assist early learners to succeed in pre-k, kindergarten, and early elementary school programs.

 “I can’t wait to see our young scholars in action!” said Burnim.  “I am excited to participate in the Fifth Grade Challenge because it is a wonderful and exciting opportunity to showcase some of the amazing students we have in MCPS.”

“Are You Up to the Fifth Grade Challenge ”takes place at AFI Silver Theatre on April 11, 2016. Sponsorship Opportunities are still available and interested guests may reserve their Fifth Grade Challenge ticket now!