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Feb 1, 2023

Who Selects the Words for the Spelling Bee?

Vanessa Bowman

The fiercely competitive contest has seen thousands of schoolchildren spell their way to the final rounds, where reserved and extra reserved lists of words are then used in the competition. Bowman explains how the list of words is selected.


Vanessa Bowman, Coca Cola Brand Coordinator, Belize Brewing Company Ltd.

“We have a group that puts together the list and then it’s vetted, it’s protected. We hold high integrity in ensuring that no one who is outside of the group that prepares the listing has access to the list, but it goes through a group of people and we still have many persons from years ago who are still part of the spelling bee who still vet our list today. So we make sure that we protect the integrity of the Bee by protecting these words. Every year, the Ministry of Education supports with offering scholarships, grants for these students, where they get book grants and scholarships, whether it’s one, two or four years, the full ride you’d call it. And they would have that support from the Ministry of Education. We also seek sponsorships from other corporate citizens like ourselves. We have Coca Cola which they support in ensuring that we have enough refreshments for the children and we also make sure that we have prizes that are aligned with what they need.”

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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