Kiwanis Club effort should be applauded

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 8, 2004

While it is not common knowledge, we once finished second in the F Street School Spelling Bee. Unless you grew up in Chula Vista, Calif., you likely have never heard of F Street School. And, to our knowledge, no one who won that modest institution of learning’s annual spelling bee ever went on to distinguish themselves in any way that you would have heard of them, either.

But we still fondly recall the chance that cerebral contest of wills offered to bask in the limelight &045; however fleetingly.

Let us speak frankly. Even today, athletics still too often steal the show in our schools. World War I might have been won on the playing fields of Eton, but it’s a good bet that when the chips were down the men in the trenches wanted to know that those in charge were capable of handling something other than sticky wickets.

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So we welcome the news that the Selma Kiwanis Club will once again host its Dallas Countywide Spelling Bee on Feb. 10 at the Selma-Dallas County Library.

The annual event has evolved over the years until it has become a truly impressive occasion. First-place prize money is $2,000. Even allowing for inflation that’s enough to grab any kid’s attention. Second-place is $1,000 and third-place a respectable $500. Even the sleepiest of students &045; the contest is open to grades kindergarten through eighth grade &045; should sit up and take notice of those kinds of prizes.

But more importantly, the members of the Kiwanis are to be commended for making old-fashioned scholarship the focus of their efforts. Life is about more than who can run the fastest or jump the highest.

Because you never know when you’ll be called upon to spell &uot;febrile&uot; correctly.

May the best speller win.