Promoting the culture of reading and learning is what the Spelling Bee Championship aims to achieve.Addressing learners and parents before the competition started at Beacon Hill High School last Thursday, Max Vries, the principal expressed disappointment at the turnout of parents. He said that they tend to attend glamorous and unnecessary events such as matric farewells but ignore important ones like spelling competitions. Vries encouraged parents to always bring family members and friends to events like this. That, he said, would help motivate learners.“This is merely about providing the learners with an opportunity to excel, to feel worthy to be learners despite their backgrounds,” he expressed.Battling for the number one spot were learners from Grades 4, 5, 6 and 7 with learners of each grade competing alone.Megan Jacobs, a teacher at the school, was the coordinator for the event and said that it had been running for the past four years. She said they have seen how positively it affects the learners’ academic performance.“This helps to make them feel acknowledged and feel a great sense of recognition,” Jacobs said. She said that they select two of the top learners from each class of the grade and formulate a group for the whole grade. They first go through a practise phase weeks before the actual day of the competition. That is where they spell words that are a little difficult for them. She said she was impressed with their overall performance even though nerves almost got the better of most of them.“Although being mindful of the fact that they were nervous, we still gave them difficult words to spell during rehearsals and they just flew over them,” she shared.Even though they did not all win, she told them that they were all winners, just by being nominated to enter the championships.Winners are; Raven Whyte (Grade 4), Keagan Jacobs (Grade 5), Lisakhanya Zibaya (Grade 6) and Neo Lawrence (Grade 7).Jacobs could not contain his excitement and thanked his teacher whom he described as funny, for always being there for not just him but his classmates too.“I feel proud of winning, this is to show girls that we as boys can also do this. They always laugh at us,” he said.He wishes to study anything to do with planets when he finishes school. V Continued on page 2.