Written by Oakland University student Paige Brockway for the OU News Bureau
That question was on the tip of 82 students’ tongues as they participated in Detroit Public Schools’ 2014-2015 Inaugural District-Wide Spelling Bee on March 26.
The competition was hosted by the Office of Literacy and took place in Renaissance High School’s auditorium. This is the first districtwide spelling bee in a number of years, but Detroit Public Schools intends to make it an annual tradition.
Spellers in the fourth and fifth grade battled it out in the elementary category, while students in sixth through eighth grade competed in the middle school category. The audience was full of proud parents and the district’s staff.
Preparations for the spelling bee started back in February, when students participated in classroom and buildingwide spelling bees. To qualify for the district spelling bee, students first had to win their building spelling bees.
“The goal of the spelling bee is to improve students’ spelling skills and increase their vocabularies,” said Deborah Winston, executive director of the Office of Literacy.
Winston added that the spelling bee provided students with practice speaking, listening and developing poise — all skills necessary for becoming ready for college and a career.
“We know the importance of language, learning words and the empowerment from being able to spell words and building [students’] vocabularies,” she said.
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