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April 19, 2010

The district finals for the sixteenth annual Coca National Spelling Bee will get underway tomorrow. The first spell off will be held in Spanish Lookout. Fourteen spellers from various primary schools in the Cayo District will be competing for first and second place which will take them to the national finals in June. Love News spoke with Nick Pollard, one of the Logistics and Finance Organizers.

Nick Pollard; Logistics and Finance Organizer, Coca National Spelling Bee

"Tomorrow we will be doing our district finals in the Cayo District. For the first time this event will be held at the Spanish Lookout Countryside Park. We visited it and it is a very nice place. We certainly look forward to that. On Thursday we will be in Toledo and on Friday we do the Stann Creek District. Next week we have the Belize District finals at the Belize Elementary and then on Wednesday we go to Escuela Mexico for the district finals and then on Orange Walk Thursday the twenty ninth of April at the Multi-purpose Sports Complex. That should conclude the district finals and then we get ready for the nationals on the forth of June."

Each year over 240 schools participate in the zone finals countrywide and according to Pollard they have added another component to this year's competition.

Nick Pollard

"What we have added to the rules is the origin of the rules. In the past we gave the students a sentence and the meaning of the word but because over the last sixteen years. We have used so many words from the dictionary we find ourselves going into words of Spanish origin, Arabic, Japanese, Norwegian, African, German, Caribbean Creole Language, and French. We have added the origin of the word to assist them and of course we continue to give them the opportunity to visualize the words with the paper and pencil."

Pollard says the success of the Spelling Bee is highly depended on the work put in by the spellers as well as the many stakeholders who are dedicated to ensuring that the competition gets better each year.

Nick Pollard

"We want to ask the parents, as they have bee doing, and teachers to join us in the district finals. These are great contests for which the students have studied very hard. We thank team personnel like Rose Guerra; she has been doing this for sixteen years. She also assists in the preparation of the words along with Jahmor Lopez who is the District Manager for the Belize District Education Centre. Of course, we thank the Ministry of Education for the support that we get from them especially in the area of the district managers because this is a lot of work and with out the district education managers we certainly would not be able to do this. We also have Sylvaana Udz who has been there with us for the last sixteen years and at the nationals she normally assists us as the master of ceremonies. So, it is a great team. It is a great team effort and the contest has really kept its high level of competition."

The Coca Cola National Spelling Bee was started in 1995 by the late Sir Barry Bowen.

Live and let live
Joined: Aug 2008
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I've often wondered - in Belize what is considered correct spelling? American spelling has largely taken over but I believe British spelling is technically correct, so which are kids supposed to follow?

Joined: Mar 2001
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the Brits misspell smile

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But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
Joined: Sep 2002
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ie: coloure

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Look at the newspapers; it is English here!

Live and let live

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