Dust off those old textbooks, because tonight the (WEF) will be hosting their “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” a family and community-oriented fund-raising event at the
The inception began about two years ago, when WEF members were new fundraising event ideas. Eventually, someone called out, “’What about, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?’ and the idea just kind of stuck,” said Christopher (Kit) Smith, the Chair of the WEF.
As ideas were fleshed out, the event picked up steam and “became this force” which raised $15,000 last year, said Maxine Berg, the Development Chair of WEF.
“It was really cool last year, to look around the auditorium and see all the families together, and they’re all trying to figure out the answers along with the contestants,” said Berg.
The finalized idea is more than just a game show tribute: WEF has worked hard to make a family-friendly event that includes all of Wilton.
“We took the idea and ran with it,” said Berg. “We made it very Wilton” and tried to “incorporate all different parts of the academic community,” she said.
And “very Wilton” it is. This year, live-action commercials, interspersed between contestants, will be presented by , , and (expect dancing). During intermission, winners of the Middlebrook Science Fair will show off their experiments in the lobby via a . Also available will be refreshments (cookies) and promotional items including CDs from WEF partner .
These commercials came when “we started thinking, how do we get business involved?” said Berg, who then reached out to local shops for participation and sponsorship.
“It’s a kind of three-ring circus,” said Smith.
It was a memorable event, too.
“There was one question that someone in the audience shouted they knew the answer to which nobody else knew,” recalled Smith. That question was “What fort was fired upon that started the ?” The answer was Fort Sumpter, as provided correctly by person the audience member, who also happened to be First William Brennan’s wife.
There’s no real win-or-lose, prize-or-penalty aspect to Wilton’s “Are You Smarter” show. The event is about community and family, with the goal of raising money by WEF which technology, music and arts for Wilton’s public schools—and having fun while doing so.
“It’s one of our biggest fund-raisers,” said Smith.
Contestants this year include “Miller-Driscoll art teacher Karin Brooks; Will Jankowski, high school senior and co-president of the National Honor Society and co-caption of the indoor track team; Middlebrook music teacher and avid recycler Janet Nobles; and science instructor and Ambler farmer Kevin Meehan,” according to a press release sent out by the WEF. Coming back for a second run will be Kindergarten teacher Sal Giaimo to work the audience as emcee. To select the fifth graders for their part of the show, the WEF distributed a test for kids, and the winners were given the opportunity to be on stage.
Tickets are still available; see below for purchasing information. Scroll down even further to take a sample of questions pulled from various episodes of the national “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” show which spawned this community event.
Ticket info: Reserved seating is available this year for $15 per student and $25 per adult. General admission is $10 for students and $15 for adults. All tickets are "will call" to be picked up that evening. Tickets are only sold online at www.wiltoneducationfoundation.org. For any questions or more information, contact Patty Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-761-0163. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, if available. Doors open at 6 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m. and will last until about 9 p.m.
Ed's note: The questions in the polls below were taken from the nationally-televised "Are You Smarter" show, which are available on YouTube. No cheating!