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Apr 9, 2003

B.E.S. student is top district speller

Story Picture
Almost a decade old and still gaining strength, the annual Coca Cola Spelling Bee is in the process of selecting its district champions. Today the big show stopped off in Belize City where I joined the competition in progress.

Pronouncer

“These words are worth ten points each and you have twenty seconds. Take your time and listen to the words and you’ll do fine.”

Janelle Chanona

This afternoon, eighteen of the Belize district’s best spellers took the stage at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall in the annual Coca Cola spelling bee.

David Craig, Organiser, Coca Cola Spelling Bee

“The contest itself is over four months long. We spend the other eight months getting ready. The preparation of the list alone takes about four months. Each of the list is about six hundred and fifty words, and we have to continuously build the difficulty of those list, right through the zone, right through the districts, right up on through the nationals. And the general list is easier than the reserve, and the extra-reserve is harder than the reserve. So we’re looking at a tremendous amount of work being put in, going into the dictionaries, going into the internet, reading, pulling words from magazines, from newspapers, it is very, very difficult. And of course, at the end we have to balance them and check them against three or four dictionaries.”

And to be sure, when in doubt, persistence pays off.

Pronouncer

“Delroy, your word is typhoon, typhoon.”

Delroy

“Typhoon, t-y-p-h-o-n.”

Pronouncer

“Try again Delroy.”

Delroy

“Typhoon, t-y-p-h-o-n-e.”

Pronouncer

“Try again Delroy.”

Delroy

“Typhoon, t-y-f-o-n, typhoon.”

Pronouncer

“Try again Delroy.”

Delroy

“Typhoon, t-y-p-h-o-o-n, typhoon.”

Pronouncer

“Correct.”

Janelle Chanona

“I know you guys have been doing this event for the past nine years, what’s the motivation to keep this event going?”

David Craig

“The motivation, incredible motivation, the kids. The excitement from the kids, the fact that the best spellers are winning, which shows that we have a good team together, which shows that our lists are balanced. That is important, just to see the joy in the kids, providing something for the kinds, being able, having the opportunity to provide something for the kids where they are actually learning and having fun at the same time. It’s just a beautiful experience.”

Tonight, Juan Ramirez of Belize Elementary School is the champion speller from the Belize District, correctly spelling caries and holograph…that’s caries: C-A-R-I-E-S and holograph: H-O-L-O-G-R-A-P-H. Runner up was Rosie Syme of Island Academy in San Pedro and Micah Munoz of St. Ignatius will serve as an alternate. The national finals, featuring the top two spellers from each district, will be held on May twenty-third at the Belize City Centre.


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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