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May 31, 2001

Deaf students compete in spelling bee

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Each year the National Spelling Bee attracts the participation of thousands of children from all over the country, each hoping to be the top primary school speller. But there are students who are unable to compete in the competition because they are deaf. Now, thanks to the Crystal Water National Finger Spelling Bee, it’s possible for these students to show that though they may not be able to hear, they do have the power to communicate.

Sharon August, Co-ordinator, Special Education Unit

“The spelling bee is for children who are deaf and is to show that deaf children can learn to read and learn to spell and to show that they have the ability to do anything that they want to do.”

Jose Sanchez

“Doesn’t the pronouncer have to spell the word for them in sign when they ask the question?”

Sharon August

“The pronouncer does not have to spell the word, there is a sign for each word, so the pronouncer will sign the word and the children will spell it out.”

Sheena Pitterson, 1st Place

“My teacher Andre taught me the words and then I studied by myself, at night time at home.”

Jose Sanchez

“How was it being in the competition?”

Brittney Jex, 2nd Place

“I studied the words and tried and tried. I learned. Some were hard and some were easy.”

Elitza Ayuso, 3rd place

“I tried my best and studied. Some of the words were easy and some of the words were hard, but I’m happy. I’m satisfied, right now that she tried her best.”

This is the third time that the finger spelling bee has been held.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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