NALUKURTI WINS THE 2015 PARIS SPELLING BEE LE HELLOCO FINISHES IN SECOND PLACE
Fourth-grader Riti Adrija Nalukurti won the seventh annual Paris Spelling Bee at the American Library in Paris on Sunday, 15 March, while fifth-grader Alex Le Helloco finished in second place. Both winners attend the École International Bilingue -The Victor Hugo International School. Twenty-one finalists in the fourth to sixth grades (CM1-6ème) vied for the title. During the first 13 rounds of the bee, the contestants were asked to spell words from a study guide of 499 words. Starting in round 14, the pronouncers went “off list” and asked the contestants to spell words that were not from the study guide. In the 24th round, Riti Adrija Nalukurti took the top prize by
spelling “composition” correctly. During the competition, she also correctly spelled: voortrekker, subterfuge, insidious, illusion, altruism, ruckus, inconvenient, triathlon and siege. The second-place winner, Alex Le Helloco, successfully fielded words including: perestroika, ridiculous, alderman, laboratory, patriarch, unduly, referee and fascinate. Each winner received a trophy and a complimentary annual family membership to the American Library in Paris. Fifth-graders Emma Mieszala, from Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye; Wazeen Karkachi, from École élémentaire Louis Pasteur; and Alex Ravel from École Jeannine Manuel tied for third place. The three spellers lasted through round 17. Fifth-graders Elliot Gampel from École Massillon and Emily Baily from École Jeannine Manuel tied for fourth place in round 17, while Hanif Caesarian, from École International Bilingue – The Victor Hugo International School; Siddharth Chaitra Vivek, from École Jeannine Manuel; and Akanksha Rai, from the International School of Paris tied for fifth place in round 15. “The finalists were well-prepared, poised and they looked like they were actually having a little fun,” said Helen Sahin Connelly, coordinator of the event. The early Sunday morning event began with fresh coffee and tea from Starbucks and snacks and juice from Marks & Spencer. Each contestant took home a medal, a certificate and an American Library in Paris tote bag containing a book and gifts from the Bilingual Connection, Marc Labat, the Bilingual Acting Workshop and Sobral.
The Paris Spelling Bee is a community enrichment event organized and sponsored by Gifted in France in collaboration with the American Library in Paris. The pronouncers were Library director Charlie Trueheart and Anne Swardson, editor-at-large at Bloomberg News. Words for the Paris Spelling Bee’s Oral Finals were taken from “Spell It!” an official study guide published by the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the United States in cooperation with Merriam-Webster, Inc. The list is often used in regional spelling bees in the United States and features US spelling. Additional words were taken from Brain Facts Book, A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System. This book is one of the official study guides for the International Brain Bee (IBB), a worldwide neuroscience competition for high school students, which is hoping to start a chapter in Paris. Paris Spelling Bee events will resume in the fall with “Language Comes To Life” workshops for children at the American Library in Paris and a family pizza movie night featuring the film “Akeelah and the Bee.” To sign up for updates about the 2016 Paris Spelling Bee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the ‘contact’ page on this blog. Special thanks to the organizing team: Helen Sahin Connelly, Kim Siew Ngoh, Ashley Miller Benz, Jenny Bateman-Irish, Karen Simpson, Jude Smith Matisse, Pauline Lemasson, Celeste Rhoads, Naida Culshaw, Shannon Connelly and devoted volunteers Laetitia Nail, Jan and Scott Smith, Loretta Fox, Clarence Tokley, Janet Sahin, Amy O’Hara, Julia Connelly and Frank Connelly. Congratulations to each of our 2015 finalists, and to all the students who participated in the Preliminary Written Round in January.