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Kiwanis sponsors annual spelling bee

Once again the Kiwanis Club will sponsor this year’s Dallas Countywide Spelling Bee, to be held Feb. 10 at the Selma-Dallas County Library.

And once again the three finalists will be given savings bonds, courtesy of the civic club: $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second, and $500 for third, according to Kiwanian spokesperson Jeff Cothran.

This year’s coordinator is Vicie Larkin, curriculum supervisor for the Dallas County School System, a native Selmian who has been with the district for five years and came to the position from her post as principal of Knox Elementary.

Larkin said that a letter has gone out to every school in Dallas County &045; public and private &045; inviting them to send two winners of local school competitions to the countywide event that will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the library.

Larkin said, &uot;We want as many children as possible to be part of this event. It is open to all children in all the schools in Dallas County, grades K through 8.&uot;

Also being recruited in the next two weeks are the officials who will oversee the event, according to Larkin &045; a pronouncer, who calls out the words, and three judges.

Students will be grouped according to grade. Each contestant continues spelling until he or she makes a mistake. The last three standing are declared the winners, she said.

Dallas County winners are then eligible to proceed to the next stage: the Birmingham Post-Herald Spelling Bee on March 13.

The winners of that event are eligible to go to the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., held during the week of May 23-28.

Asked if there had ever been anyone locally to go to the Washington event, Larkin was unable to say. But she expressed great confidence in the young people whom she anticipates will be present on Feb. 10.