Spell and grow rich: Prizes total $6,000

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 29, 2002

Think you could spell &uot;decompose&uot; without sneaking a look at a dictionary?

How about &uot;parapsychology?&uot;

That’s just a sample of the words that could appear in the upcoming county spelling bee on Feb. 13, according to Nancy Brislin, supervisor for county schools.

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The spelling bee takes place every year at the Selma-Dallas Library. But this year the local Kiwanis Club is offering three prizes totaling $6,000, according to Kiwanis member Jeff Cothran.

Cothran said that the Kiwanians have purchased savings bonds that will be given to the first, second and third place winners of the spelling bee. First place is $3,000, second is $2,000 and third is $1,000.

Cothran said he believes that a child can never truly reach his or her potential unless a parent takes an active role in their education. He said that he hopes the prize of savings bonds will motivate both parents and children to prepare for the upcoming spelling bee.

Cothran also hopes that children will not only get more interested in spelling, but also subjects such as science and mathematics.

According to Cothran, the idea for a geography bee had circulated among Kiwanians, but they ultimately settled on a spelling bee.

This was because schools already had study materials for a spelling bee, explained Cothran, and additional books would had to have been bought by schools if a geography bee was held instead.

Brislin said that the spelling bee is open to students from grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Individual schools must hold their own spelling bee by Jan. 15.

The top two students from each school will then compete at the county spelling bee for the prizes.

Brislin noted that the county spelling bee is traditional in style. Students first pronounce the word they’re given, spell it and then pronounce it again. If they make a mistake they’re eliminated from the competition.

Once it’s down to only two students things get more fierce. If one of the students misses a word then the other must spell it and an additional one before being declared the winner, said Brislin.

Brislin recommended that any students who are interested in competing speak with their principal about what they need to do.