To the Editor:
For six years now, our newspaper has had the honor of sponsoring the annual Rhode Island Spelling Bee in the spring. This year, on March 9, 2013, at Cumberland High School, we will host our 7th State Spelling Bee and send the winner to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
I’m writing this letter as an appeal of sorts. For some years now, we’ve had between 27 and 34 great spellers from across the state at our Bee. They come from grades 4 through 8, and from public, Catholic, and independent schools, with a home-schooled participant as well.
We have never had children from Warwick, however. I hope Warwick parents, teachers and administrators might consider the Spelling Bee this year. A few years ago, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was forced to institute a $115-per-school charge for participation. It is now a much more vital organization, thanks to that decision. In some cases, PTAs, parents and donors have donated the cost for a school’s participation. State Bee participants must come from a school that has paid the fee.
In most cases, several schools in a district (city, town) participate, and then hold a district Bee to crown a champ who attends the State Bee. While we would prefer that many schools and students participate, the fact is that if only one school in a town chooses to participate, then that school’s winner joins us in the State Bee as the district representative. One winner per district is allowed at the State Spelling Bee.
Won’t you join us this year, Warwick?
There is plenty of information, help and fun tips at the national website, www.spellingbee.com. The deadline to sign up is Oct. 15.
If you have any questions, feel free to phone me at The Valley Breeze, 334-9555, ext. 123. I hope you can “bee” a part of the fun this year!
Thomas V. Ward
The Valley Breeze