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Dec 1, 2011

1st Spelling Bee for Disability Week a Success

A number of activities are taking place this week to celebrate Disabilities Awareness Week. One of the key activities took place this morning at the Belize Elementary School auditorium where a group of special children converged. While they shared a similar disability, they all had the ability to spell. Bowen and Bowen partnered with the National Resource Center for Inclusive Education.    News Five’s Delahnie Bain was on hand for the event.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Eighteen students from the Belize, Corozal, Orange Walk and Cayo Districts competed today in the sixteenth annual National Spelling Bee for the Hearing Impaired. It is an initiative organized jointly by Bowen and Bowen and the National Resource Center for Inclusive Education (NARCIE).

David Craig, Sales/Marketing Mgr., Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Bowen & Bowen Ltd.

David Craig

“Bowen & Bowen is really pleased and honored to be a part of this event. This is for the hearing impaired. Remember we have one for Coca-COLA that’s for normal kids; these are for very special kids. It’s the sixteenth year that Crystal Drinking Water and now the Real Fruit Beverages are involved with this project and we’re really pleased and honored to partner along with NARCIE and the Ministry of Education to be putting off a contest like this. It’s basically giving them the confidence—kids that have hearing impaired problems—giving them the confidence, providing a competitive environment for them in a very special way.”

In the junior category, the Cayo Deaf Institute swept the top prizes, with Alexander Raimundo taking first place.

Glen Dueck

Glen Dueck, Teacher, Cayo Deaf Institute

“It’s kind of interesting because the juniors, the three of them were all from CDI so they were the last three, the first, second and third so it’s good.”

Delahnie Bain

“So how long had you all been preparing?”

Glen Dueck

“We had been practicing maybe like two months. Yeah, more or less two months we had been practicing.  I personally have been—this is my second time here. Before I was not a teacher, I was just staff at the school so now I am a teacher and it’s the first time that I’m a teacher and somebody wins from my class.”

Sulmi Valencia & Nancy Marshall

But the top speller among the seniors emerged from the Orange Walk District. She is Sulmi Valencia of St. Peters Anglican School.

Nancy Marshall, Host Mom, Sulmi Valencia

“I’m thrilled, I’m so proud of her. I’m so proud of you. How do you feel? I’m happy she says.”

Delahnie Bain

“How long had she been practicing?”

Nancy Marshall

“We practiced and practiced. We practiced every day for like two months.  I have to try to learn the words, I practiced them and I tried to learn the words.”

Delahnie Bain

“So she basically memorized all the words?”

Nancy Marshall

“Some I feel a little weak on, but I learned all of them. Practically, I knew them all.”

The competition helps to build confidence in hearing impaired students and it is done in a similar format to the Coca Cola Spelling Bee.

Glen Dueck

“I think when parents can see their children do good when they win, that will give them trust in the school that they’re truly learning in school.”

Delahnie Bain

“And what do you think it does for the students themselves?”

Glen Dueck

“Probably boost up self confidence and make them feel you know “I can win.”

David Craig

“There’s a junior and senior category. We had six kids for the junior and I think there were twelve for the senior. The system is kind of like the Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee, the rules are almost the same. We use the same formats; the extra reserve list, reserve list, but of course it’s all signing. They get it from the eyes—the signer actually signs the word and they have to spell it. So it’s a very special thing and it’s really intriguing to watch.”

The prizes included school supplies, sign language dictionaries, trophies, portable DVD players and Crystal Fruit Juices. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

In the 2010 Spelling Bee, both of today’s winners placed third in their categories.

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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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