Language is always changing but without some kind of generally agreed-upon spelling there’s no way to communicate. The Fourth Annual Junction Spelling Bee Challenge lets participants test their knowledge and support literacy programs throughout the year.
“Every year the Interior Savings Credit Union team is the first team to sign up and this year they’re our Gold Sponsor with a donation of $2,500. They’re phenomenal supporters,” said Debbie Schiller, executive director of The Junction Literacy Centre which provides literacy programs and workshops for children and parents and a drop-in centre for at-risk youth.
“I like words, spelling and reading and I have kids at school, one who was in the Junction One To One program which really helped. The spelling bee really fits in with our motto of corporate sponsorship for health, youth and economic development,” said Tracie Savage, Interior Savings Credit Union team captain.
Last year, The Junction Spelling Bee Challenge brought together 17 teams of eight people each for breakfast and a spell off. The teams work together on the words selected from the Oxford Canadian Spelling Dictionary. The words include commonly misspelled words, some common and uncommon words and a few surprises. The spellings are submitted to the judges and no one has to get up and spell in front of everyone.
The teams come from all kinds of backgrounds, businesses, the City of Vernon, Okanagan College, the School District, book clubs and other clubs, high school students and individuals. Small groups and individuals are placed together to make the teams of eight.
“The language changes but there will always be a place for rich language, beautiful sentences and accurate spelling,” said Schiller.
The proceeds from the event provide direct services for about 400 elementary school children each year, trains adult volunteers to read with elementary school children, distributes 800 Books for Babies packages, sponsors a workshop for parents with children in Grade 1 (about 480 families this year), hosts the Plain Language- Clear Writing Workshops for 100 adults in the community, and provides drop-in services for 90 at-risk youth at the Youth Centre each month.
The Junction Spelling Bee Challenge takes place April 6 at the Vernon Lodge with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and everything finished by 9:30 a.m. The cost is $125 per person or $1,000 per table with tax receipts provided. For more information and registration, or to sponsor a high school student, see www.junctionliteracy.ca, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-275-3117.