100 words in English were segmented into 3 complexity levels (simple, challenging, difficult) and printed on a sheet of paper for each of the 400 participating students at 2 primary schools. Two weeks prior to the contest, KKIS Director Kelly Caldwell had the honor of holding mock contests to prepare the students for the inter-school English Spelling Bee between 4th, 5th & 6th graders at Jaime Torres Bodet and Andrés Quintana Roo primary schools. Following 2 elimination rounds, each school sent five students from each grade to the contest.
KKIS Volunteer Judges, Stone Wolfson and Alex Esher were assisted by KKIS organizer, Malú Martinez, Educativo organizer & teacher Mike Humberto Balam and master of ceremonies Luis Sanchez Azcorra.
Andrés Quintana Roo was represented by: Director Sujey Avila Mendez, English teacher Alejandro Ascensio
Jaime Torres Bodet was represented by: Director Elsy Flota, English teacher Lorenso Cuevas
Dignitaries attending the event included: Narcisa Pech Dzib representing SEQ in Solidaridad, Willivaldo Piña, head of Primary Schools in Playa del Carmen and Francisco Alberto Cob Chi, Supervisor, Zona 056.
The event was well attended by parents and friends of the students who filled the stands and cheered on the contestants!
What did WE learn from this experience? We underestimated the sharpness of these young minds!!! The 6th grade contest required 5 extra rounds because the contestants properly spelled all the words they were given! Next year – 200 words and new categories: challenging, difficult and nearly impossible to spell!