Can you spell antioxidants, euphoria or trustee?
Come Sunday (May 15) starting at 9 a.m. children will do this and more at the annual Rogers TV Spelling Bee of Canada Championship slated for the Ismaili Centre, 49 Wynford Dr.
Organizer Julie Spence said, “Over 50,000 children have participated in the bee to date and by 2020 with the support of Rogers TV and other sponsors Spelling Bee of Canada foresees an increase in the number of provinces participating.”
Participants from three categories, primary age 6-8, junior age 9-11 and intermediate age12-14 will compete for cash prizes and bragging rights.
Top competitors from 31 regional competitions held March 5 to April 17 will advance to the championship where they will be given challenging words.
“Every year we get requests from different provinces and regions across Canada to open a regional spelling bee chapter. Community leaders see the true value in literacy but the spelling bee is more than just a community event, it’s a family affair and bonding experience,” said Spence.
She noted that parents enjoy helping their kids study, learning over 400 words in preparation for the competition. “The Markham chapter is run by a past participant and his mother, and we also have a Whitby family with all four children competing.”
Former spelling bee contestant Dominique Morris knows the invaluable experience being a contestant provides. She attributes her participation in the competition for helping not only enhance her vocabulary and writing skills but for developing her confidence, creativity and public speaking skills.
In 2002, Morris became the youngest Spelling Bee of Canada co-chapter president at 13 years old, opening the first North York chapter with the help of her mother, who served as co-president. This is the second year the Toronto Community Housing chapter she opened will participate, and this year they will sponsor 45 kids in a regional spelling bee, three of whom will advance to the championship.
“I wanted to provide an opportunity for the children living in Toronto Community Housing to compete, and demonstrate to the community that they defy the stigmas imposed upon them. The spelling bee provides them an opportunity to prove their skills and build their confidence,” Morris said.