Wed | Oct 23, 2019

The buzz starts here!

Published:Monday | September 23, 2019 | 12:13 AM

The first week of The Gleaner’s Children’s Own Spelling Bee competition kicks off in St Thomas at noon today at the Morant Bay Parish Church.

Spelldowns will be held in each parish across the country, culminating on October 7 in St Andrew at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library on Tom Redcam Drive.

More than 500 students have registered to be part of this year’s 61st staging of the competition with hopes of becoming parish champions and moving on to the national finals. The national champion will then seek to follow in the footsteps of the past winners who have represented Jamaica internationally.

Darian Douglas of Glenmuir High School took the 2019 national title, securing coach Errol Campbell’s third consecutive win.

At the Scripps National Spelling Bee held in Washington, DC, which kicked off with more than 550 spellers, Douglas made it to the top 50 before misspelling D-I-A-L-L-A-G-E.

The Gleaner’s Children’s Own Spelling Bee is open to all Jamaican students under the age of 14 who would not have passed grade eight by August 30, 2020, and who have not sat any external examination that would matriculate them higher than said grade.

This year’s staging, in association with JN Bank, is supported by Nissan, official transportation sponsor; Sangster’s Book Stores, official book sponsor; gold sponsors JN School Savers, Reggae Jammin', The Best Dressed Chicken and JTA Co-operative Credit Union Limited; and silver sponsors Seprod and Wisynco.

Kerry-Ann Hepburn, Children’s Own coordinator.