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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb 9, 2007    #019
Contact: Amanda Lepper
(816) 235-1592

Area fourth-graders face off at Kansas City Missouri Public School District Spelling Bee

In recent years, spelling bees have gained a fanatical popularity, with national finals broadcasted live on ESPN and critically acclaimed movies that capture the drama of the competition. Area residents will have the chance to get a first-hand look at what some call “the original reality show” at the second annual Kansas City Missouri Public School District Fourth Grade Spelling Bee hosted Feb. 16 by the University of Missouri-Kansas City in celebration of African-American History Month.

Bright and eager students from J.S. Chick and Sandford B. Ladd elementary schools will face off at 10 a.m. in the UMKC Law School’s E.E. Tom Thompson Courtroom. Before a crowd of more than 100 educators, governmental leaders, parents, fellow classmates and spelling bee fans, the fourth-graders will be challenged to see who can spell words such as extinction, theology, revelation and erosion correctly.

The field of 40 competitors will be whittled down to one winner, who will receive a grand prize from Kansas City Power and Light. All participants, however, will receive a certificate from Dean Ellen Suni good for $1,000 toward admission if they choose to attend UMKC law school upon graduation from high school.

The event was brought to the UMKC campus last year by Breman Anderson, a UMKC alumnus who participated in spelling bees as a child and hoped to see the tradition grow in the Kansas City, Mo., school district. Helen Tellis, the instruction coach for J.S. Chick, will moderate.

The bee is coordinated by both the Law School and the School of Education. Other sponsors include the UMKC Office of Admissions, the Alumni Association and the Committee on Multicultural and Community Affairs. Elected officials from the local, county and state levels, including Rep. Craig Bland, 43rd District, also will show their support the day of the bee by commending the students for their academic pursuits and encouraging them to pursue higher education.

“We hope the event will help feed the pipeline from elementary school into higher education,” said Dee Evans, an event organizer and alumni affairs manager for the School of Education.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences and urban affairs.

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

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