UMES to sponsor 2013 Lower Shore spelling bee

  • Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Somerset Intermediate student_2012WESTOVER, MD. - (Sept. 12, 2012) - A Lower Shore elementary or middle school student will have an opportunity next spring to participate in the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

    The University of Maryland Eastern Shore announced today it will sponsor a competition to identify the region's top-speller, who will win an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the nationally televised event.

    "We know students face tough challenges in the classroom every day," UMES President Juliette B. Bell said. "And we want to do our part to inspire them - and acknowledge their achievements."

    Top administrators from public schools in Somerset and Wicomico counties joined Bell at a kick-off event at Somerset Intermediate School. Both school systems have agreed to encourage their elementary and middle school educators to conduct school-level competitions.

    "My experience with the Baltimore Bee back in 2007-2008 showed me that this kind of event promotes a healthy competition, builds self-esteem, and promotes academic rigor," said Somerset schools Superintendent Marjorie Miles. "Spelling is a fundamental skill that can unlock so many academic potentials within children.  My advice to the schools, and more important the children - have fun and enjoy the competition!"

    UMES spelling bee mascotStudents who attend public as well as private and home schools in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties are eligible to compete. Schools that sign up to hold a local bee will identify the top two spellers, who will receive an automatic invitation to the inaugural Maryland Eastern Shore Spelling Bee.

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    The regional bee will be held Saturday, March 2 at the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts on the UMES campus.

    That event will mirror the format of the national competition that airs on television in late May each year.

    "We're delighted that our students will have a chance to show their spelling prowess at the school and regional level, and perhaps even the national level," said Dr. John E. Fredericksen, Wicomico County Superintendent of Schools. "Our guiding rule this year is, 'If it helps a student learn, let's do it.' We're ready for our students to spell their way to success."

    Bell, who became UMES' president in July, said she was excited her staff identified a community service project that involved a way to engage elementary and middle school students in learning.

    "After all, we train teachers at UMES," Bell said. "A spelling competition is a natural fit."

    For more information about how your school can participate, contact Bill Robinson at (410) 621-2355 or by e-mail at wrobinson3@UMES.edu