2009 Invitation

2009 Paris Spelling Bee Invitation

gif-2008-spelling-bee-trophy

Dear Parisian Bees,

You are invited to participate in the second annual Paris Spelling Bee, which is open to all children who are 7-13 years-old.   We held our first Spelling Bee last year at the American Library in Paris and this year we are encouraging more children to join the event.

The deadline for registering is April 1, 2009.  There will be a preliminary written spelling test on Saturday April 4th, 10h00-12h00. The finalists will then go onto the oral finals on June 7 at the American Library in Paris. You can see ALP’s most recent newsletter, Ex Libris,  for the announcement, which includes the names of last year’s winners.  There will be first and second prize trophies for the winners and medals for all contestants who complete the finals in June.

Finalists will have an opportunity to attend a meeting where they will be invited to watch the documentary Spellbound, play scrabble and review spelling rules.  Finalists will also receive a list of words to guide them into the final bee. Thanks to the American Library, we will organize a mock-competition, in mid-May, to give the contestants a chance to practice their oral spelling under similar conditions as the real bee.

Last year, we had 18 children participate in the final bee, which was divided into two groups: Gazelles (7-9 year-olds) and Cheetahs (10-13 year-olds). The contestants came from a cross-section of schools in Paris.

To obtain registration forms please email:  2009parisspellingbee@gmail.com.

Below, are important details that have been distributed on the bee.

Please read carefully the following information

if your student or child is interested in the bee:

April 1, 2009 Deadline for completed and signed registration forms must be received by April 1. To receive your registration form, please email 2009parisspellingbee@gmail.com
April 4, 2009 Written Spelling Bee Test for those who’ve pre-registered, will be held at: The Irish Cultural Centre , on 5, rue des Irlandais 75005. Tentative time: 10h00-12h00. On this day, each age group (7-9 and 10-13 year-olds) will be given a list of words. Then about 24 children, in total, will be short-listed based on their performance on the written part and advance to the oral finals in June.
June 7, 2009 2009 Paris Spelling Bee, orals, to be held at the American Library for the finalists.
Cost: There will be a 5€ registration fee, per family, to pay for the April 4th venue and related expenses. If the child becomes a finalist, there will be another 5€ fee to cover the costs of trophies, certificates, medals and printed material.
Age requirements and limitations: Event is open to children 7-13 years-old. Age limit: the child must not be older than 13 years-of-age before July 1, 2009. Children who are 7-9 years-old may request to participate with the 10-13 year-olds. However, it will be up to the organizers to review and approve this request.

Benefits of Spelling Bees: “Spelling bees help to promote literacy by providing children with a positive goal to work toward, and give them a forum to display the fruits of their hard work. In addition to improving spelling, the bees also aid children in learning concepts, improving comprehension and developing study skills. The benefits of spelling bees extend beyond language: Since children are required to spell words while on stage, kids also develop self-confidence, communication and public speaking skills, and the ability to thrive under pressure,” (source: canspell)

SUGGESTED MATERIAL/LINKS: Two of our favorite tools used last year came from  this study link: First was a book: How to Spell Like a Champ, which includes a 75-minute interactive audio CD following a child from a classroom bee to the finals. The second was a documentary called: Spellbound. We also found the movie Akeelah and the Bee to be very inspirational.  In fact, it’s after seeing that movie that we decided to do a Paris Spelling Bee in the first place!! Once we passed the movie around to our friends, it became infectious.

1.  FOR OLDER KIDS:  Some of the more useful links come from Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee’s website.  Even though this site is for kids who are competing at the national level in the US, there are some very helpful tips to keep in mind. Many of them come from Carolyn’s Corner, a popular site for serious spellers — Carolyn’s Corner: http://www.spellingbee.com/glance.shtml (check out spelling bee participation tips) / http://www.spellingbee.com/glance/organized.shtml / http://www.spellingbee.com/recommendations.asp

Also useful is the introduction to some of the most commonly misspelled words, which are always  handy to master (even for us adults!) and some word origins. These are found at Merriam-Webster’s famous Spell it! To get an idea of words that have appeared frequently at the Scripps bees, you can check out  http://www.spellingbee.com/cwl.shtml Scroll down to “words appearing with moderate frequency.” If you like to spell or want to become a better speller these links can provide you with the guidance and challenge you are looking for.

2. FOR YOUNGER KIDS: We found reviewing Fry’s 1000 Most Common Words (click on each 100-word section as indicated) to be a very good guide. There are also fun games on http://www.merriam-webster.com/game/crossword.htm

A NOTE TO SCHOOLS AND HOMESCHOOLERS: For next year, 2010, we may seek to participate in Scripps National Spelling Bee events where the Paris winner would have the opportunity to compete in the annual championships in Washington, D.C.  This is pending Scripps approval and GiF finding a media outlet that would sponsor the event and pay for the winner’s expenses to Washington, D.C.  At this point we are gathering a list of schools and homeschoolers who might be interested in enrolling for this event. Please email us at your earliest convenience, Subject: 2010 Scripps Spelling Bee, so that we can assess the interest level and share it with Scripps officials.

A WORD ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS:The annual Paris Spelling Bee is a community-wide enrichment activity open to all students, who meet the age requirements. It is organized by Gifted in France.

GiF is a volunteer-based 1901 association for English-speaking families. We organize educational meetings for parents, teachers and other professionals on the social, educational and emotional needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children (gifted children with learning issues). We also host activities for children.

We  look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Paris Spelling Bee team

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