Crooked Tree elementary school students have excelled in sports, winning the Belize Rural Softball Championship two years in a row, and now the school is celebrating yet another accomplishment, the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee Zone One Champ.
The 2010 Spelling Bee for the Belize District Zone One elimination was held on February 17th in Ladyville Village. The Spelling Bee had the participation of seven schools in this zone, which included Ladyville Evangelical, Ladyville Roman Catholic, Ladyville Seventh Day Adventist, Biscayne Government School, Pancotto Primary School (Sandhill), Guadalupe Roman Catholic School(Sandhill) and Crooked Tree Government School.
The Spelling Bee was tightly contested, and at the end of the day, Megan Gillett of Crooked Tree School, the youngest participant, was declared the winner. Megan Gillett, an eight grader, at only 10 years old, won over all the students from Zone one in the Belize District. Megan will be going on to the District Finals on April 23rd, where she will meet the other winners from Zone two to Zone eight, there will be a total of 16 spellers, all the first and second place winners from each zone. At the end of the day, the two top spellers will represent the Belize District at the national finals in June, where each district will also be showcasing their two top spellers.
The Coco Cola Spelling Bee started in 1995, making this year the fifteenth consecutive competition. Nick Pollard a Bowen and Bowen executive states: “Over the last three years it did become more exciting because the Ministry of Education came in with us and they offered a tuition scholarship which included books for four years to the first place winner, second place gets two years and the third place gets one year. Last year we introduced the laptop computers to the first and second place students and they were very excited over this new innovative idea and so we’re going to continue that into 2010. The first place winner gets a laptop and his/her school gets a fully loaded desk computer.”
Other prizes include dictionaries. This year will also mark the fourth year the finals will be held outside of the Belize district. The grand finale will be held on June 6th at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Orange Walk Town. This year approximately five hundred children are participating in the thirty nine zone eliminations. Organizers of the competition are releasing a news letter to assist teachers and students with spelling study tips and logistic information about the 2008 competition.
Congratulations to Crooked Tree Village Government School for a job well done and cheers to the principal, teachers and parents who taught and assisted the students, as well as other volunteers from the community. Megan Gillett is the daughter of Clarence and Winnie Wade Gillett.