Thunder Bay Christian School (TBCS) has signed up to participate in the CanWest CanSpell National Spelling Bee this year.
The event engages Grades 4 through 8 students in spelling study and regional, national and international competition.
Over 250,000 students are expected to participate across Canada this year.
Principal Bea Hayen says interest from students and parents prompted the decision to involve TBCS.
Her experience as a teacher in the United States with the American version of the contest, the Scripps National Spelling Bee, also impacted the decision, she says.
This month Grades 4 to 8 completed in-class spelling bees with the top three students in each class competing in an all-school event.
Hayen says students generally did very well and the competition was close. She attributes this largely to the studying students did in preparation for the bee.
Two Grade 8 students will be going on to the regional contest, the Chronicle-Journal Regional Spelling Bee held at Lakehead University Feb. 16.
“I think they stand a very good chance here in our local regional of taking top honours,” says Hayen. “I would expect them to place well.”
Following events in 22 Canadian cities, the CanWest CanSpelling National Spelling Bee finals will take place in Ottawa on April 19.
All of the country’s 22 finalists will also compete in Washington, D.C. at the Scripps event in May.
Canada Post has taken on the registration levy for all Canadian schools so that there is no fee for schools or students to participate in any part of the spelling bee.
Winners of the regional contests receive a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) in the amount of $5,000 as well as a trophy. Each winner also receives travel fare, accommodations and meals for both him or herself and a chaperone for participation in both the Ottawa and Washington events.
The national winner receives an RESP in the amount of $15,000 as well as trophy. The CanWest CanSpell Winner’s Cup is donated to the national winner’s school until the 2009 finals.