Con­tes­tants line up for start of Spelling Bee par­ish fi­nals

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

THE FIRST week of The Gleaner’s Chil­dren’s Own Spelling Bee com­pe­ti­tion kicks off at noon to­day at the Mo­rant Bay Par­ish Church in St Thomas.

Over the next two weeks, par­ish fi­nals will be held in each par­ish, end­ing on Oc­to­ber 7 in St An­drew at the Girl Guides As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica.

This year, more than 400 stu­dents have reg­is­tered to be part of the 58th stag­ing of the com­pe­ti­tion with hopes of be­com­ing a par­ish cham­pion to ad­vance to the na­tional fi­nals with a chance at fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Chaunte Black­wood and many oth­ers who have rep­re­sented Ja­maica in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Black­wood, of Ar­denne High School, took the 2016 na­tional ti­tle with Hanif Brown as coach.

Brown, a stu­dent him­self, took to coach­ing Black­wood af­ter the death of the Rev­erend Glen Archer, who coached both stu­dents.

Black­wood fin­ished in the fi­nals among 45 stu­dents at the Scripps Na­tional Spelling Bee, held in Washington, DC – a stel­lar achieve­ment in a com­pe­ti­tion of more than 200 spell­ers.

The Gleaner’s Chil­dren’s Own Spelling Bee is open to all Ja­maican stu­dents un­der the age of 14 who would not have passed grade eight by Au­gust 30, 2017, and who have not sat any ex­ter­nal ex­am­i­na­tion that would ma­tric­u­late them higher than that grade. The na­tional fi­nals take place in Fe­bru­ary of next year.

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