Students from Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, Rocky Mount Academy and Rocky Mount Preparatory School will take the stage at 7 p.m. Thursday to compete in the 2014 Advancement Spelling Bee at the Dunn Center at N.C. Wesleyan College.
Students participating in the Spelling Bee are the winners and finalists of school-level Spelling Bees that were held earlier in the year. The event is free and open to the public.
Edith Penny, board chairwoman for the Delta Center for Life Development, said members of the planning committee are excited about the increased level of participation in this year’s event.
“We had no idea when we sent out the invitations to all of the Nash and Edgecombe, public, private, parochial, charter school and home-school associations that we would get this response,” Penny said. “Last year, we only had three middle schools and this year, we have 22 schools with students ranging from third grade to eighth grade. We are so excited and thrilled to be a co-host of this event. This year, North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Teacher Education Program joined in with us to help bring this event to our community.
"It has been a great partnership and we look forward to future years.”
The student who wins this year’s competition will receive an all-expense-paid trip for the student and a parent to Washington, DC, to participate in Scripps National Spelling Bee that will be televised on ESPN at 8 p.m. on May 29. The preliminaries also will be televised on ESPN3 and ESPN2 during the week.
Other prizes for the winner are provided through support by Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Encyclopedia Britannica.
Forty-four students from across the Twin Counties will compete. Dr. Anthony Jackson, superintendent of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, said he hopes the community will come out to support the students.
“We always look forward to the Advancement Spelling Bee,” Jackson said. “Our students have the opportunity to strengthen their vocabulary and improve their literacy skills as they study and prepare to participate in this event.
“The community is invited to come and celebrate the achievements of these students.”