Of more than 20 schools that participated in this year’s National Junior Spelling Bee Competition, Apia Primary was able to spell their way to victory.
However, Lefaga Primary School did not just hand over the win as they also proved to be a tough opponent.
The competition that kick started in early April saw the participation of 10 primary schools for Savaii’s Elimination Round that was conducted over two weeks between Salelologa, Lano, Pu’apu’a, Asau, Falealupo, Falelima, Gataivai, Faiaai/Fogatuli, Taga and Satupaitea.
For Upolu’s elimination round there were 12 schools that vied for the top 4 positions to go through to the quarterfinals against Savaii’s top 4. Upolu schools were represented by Apia Primary, Lefaga, Lalomanu and Ah Mu Academy.
In the end the Savaii schools had to bow out to their Upolu counterparts who lead each round to make it through to the semi finals with the following scores: Lefaga Primary-105, Apia Primary -100, Ah Mu Academy-80 and Lalomanu Primary with a score of 70. The draw for the semi finals saw Lefaga against Ah Mu Academy with Lefaga winning by 105 points to Ah Mu’s 80 while Apia Primary led their game against Lalomanu by 100 -70.
When the countdown of 12 minutes of the Finals started, both finalists were spelling the words correctly head to head with a possible tie. However one had to give and with a slight misspell from Lefaga, Apia Primary took the opportunity to gain an extra 10 points when time was up. They became the Junior National Spellling Bee Champions with 110 points to Lefaga’s 100.
The Junior Spelling Bee now in it’s 10th year, has seen an improved participation in the number of schools that have taken up the challenge to represent their schools and put to the test their spelling skills on national television.
The Colleges will have their chance to spell when the National Senior Spelling Bee competition kickstarts next week Wednesday. Ten Colleges from Savaii are expected to take part with 10 more from Upolu. May the best team win!
Whilst the literacy rate continues to be a major concern for the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture it is the hope that with such programs as Spelling Bee being televised, the youngsters can appreciate the value of language and be able to improve on their comprehension by making spelling and reading a habit.
The Winner and Finalists were duly rewarded as follows:
Winner: $1,000 S.S.A.B Trophy, B.S.P Merchandise
Runner Up: $500, B.S.P Merchandise
Finalists Consolation Prizes: $200