Over four hundred students will be taking to the stage for the annual spell-off as the Coca Cola Spelling Bee kicks off for 2011. The wheels were set in motion weeks ago when schools held their in-house eliminations. From there, participating schools selected two of their best contestants who will face other school representatives in the zone eliminations that started yesterday. Sales and Marketing Manager, David Craig spoke about the company’s biggest promotion for the year.

David Craig – Sales and Marketing Manager, Bowen and Bowen Ltd.

“For 17 years since 1995 we have been closely involved with it. It was Sir Barry Bowen’s initiative to basically assist the Ministry of Education to develop the bee and make it the event that it should be, a very important event in the calendar of the Ministry of Education. It’s a team that has to put it together and the Love FM team is a very integral part of that. We want everyone to tune in to Love FM, it is a wonderful learning experience. If you listen to it I know you are going to pick up words that you’ve never known that is the way it was spelled, that’s what we get back all the time. So tune in to Love FM we’re going to be announcing the dates and everything. Everybody at home and at the office put on your radios you will want to listen to this. I want you to know how lucky we are to be the sponsor of an event like this that creates so much learning opportunities for the children of Belize.”

At the end of the Zone eliminations, eighty students will go on to the next round in the District eliminations that starts on April 4th and runs to April 14th. Twelve of the best spellers are selected from there and go on to the national finals. For each leg of the competitions, organizers prepare three lists that include the general and two reserve lists. Craig says this year the response has been good.

David Craig – Sales and Marketing Manager, Bowen and Bowen Ltd.

“The response is amazing. This thing involves so many people at all levels it involves the District Education Officers, the principals, the teachers and of course the parents. We see it as very important part of bonding between the kids and parents because the parents have to prepare the kids and then also the school has to prepare the children. I always say that a child cannot win this spelling bee competition without the full support of the family and the school.”

Prizes include laptops; Oxford dictionaries and a new addition for this year are novels to promote reading. The Ministry of Education also issues scholarships to winners. The competition is carried through a course of six months and this year’s national finals will be held on June third.