Cayman’s young spellers set to compete

| 30/11/2016
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Last year’s joint primary school winners Jelani Hanson and Jemma Watson with Deidre Edwards, who took third place

(CNS Local Life): Primary and secondary school students across the Cayman Islands are preparing to vie for the title of best speller, with the 33rd annual Lions Club of Grand Cayman Secondary Spelling Bee Competition set for Wednesday, 7 December and the 19th annual RBC Royal Bank Primary Spelling Bee Competition the following day.

The national spelling bee competitions, which are staged by the Department of Education Services (DES) in conjunction with the sponsors, are not just about learning to spell long and complicated words. The students also study etymology and learn roots, pronunciations, and multiple definitions, which improves reading comprehension, increases literacy and leads to greater enjoyment of reading, literature and language.

Both spelling bees are open to pupils in government and private schools as well as children who are educated at home.

To be eligible for the competition, primary school children should have been no older than 11 on 1 September, while secondary school pupils had to be younger than 15 on that date.

“The annual spelling bees are an event not to be missed and everyone is looking forward to these adrenaline-pumping competitions,” said Nicki Samuels, DES senior customer service officer and organiser of the competition.

Both events, which are open to the public, will take place during school hours at Red Bay Church of God on Selkirk Drive in Grand Cayman, starting at 9:30am.

Unlike previous years, the competition for each group will take place on one day only, and schools from each of the three islands will compete at the same time in their designated category.

Although spelling bees take place around the world, the Cayman Islands version is modelled on The Gleaner’s Children’s Own Spelling Bee which is held annually in Jamaica.

Jemma Watson and Jelani Hanson from George Town Primary School jointly won last year’s primary school competition after a 45-minute tiebreaker. The secondary school competition also required a tiebreaker, with Thomas Sevik Jr and Dilan Tatum from Layman E. Scott Sr High School in Cayman Brac emerging joint victors.

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Category: High School, Primary School

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