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Spellers Face Off at 3rd Annual Community Spelling Bee

NEF hosts event to support Norwalk and its schools

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Norwalk, CT | Added on April 10, 2015 At 06:00 PM

The Norwalk Education Foundation kicked off its third annual Spelling Bee among local community competitors both young and old.

Students, local leaders, parents and volunteers came together at Norwalk City Hall Thursday night as 18 teams competed for the grand prize. 

"Between the three of us we're all going to pull together and perform very well," said Meghan Hopkins PTO board member and parent.  

"It was the first year we went for the full first round," said Norwalk Common Council member Doug Hempstead. "So we're happy just at this point." 

This year's panel of judges included Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, Ponus Ridge Middle School teacher Joseph Giandurco, and Fox Run Elementary School teacher Brian Irrera. State rep. Gail Lavielle and AT&T Director of External Affairs Harry Carey participated as the master of ceremonies, reciting each word to competitors through each round. 

"We're really excited about this year's Spelling Bee, it's the third annual Spelling Bee," said NEF Interim Executive Director Margaret Costa. "Bob Duff is one of our judges. This year we've included a lot more children, kids, young adults to actually participate in the fun, so we're really excited for just a great event."  

"This is my first time and another teacher was talking to me and asked if I would like to join and I said, of course," said Aniela Savona, Columbus Magnet School kindergarden teacher and parent.

NEF is an independent organization that has supported Norwalk Public Schools and the community since 1998 through programs, community collaborations and grants. 

"We're an education organization," said Costa. "Spelling, education, they kind of go hand-in-hand. It's a feel good event it brings the community together, it brings parents, teachers, students, local businesses together, so it's a feel good event that really emphasizes education."  

Teams that spelt each word correctly continued to the final round.The grand prize, $500 check was awarded to the winning team, along with $50 gift certificates to the team with the most spirit, best team name, and best team costume. 

"I'm looking forward to seeing the other teams and their costumes," said Ponus Ridge Middle School student Ashley Orozco.   

"We are the Colum-Bees from Columbus Magnet School," said Hopkins.

"We came up with 'Word Pirates' and I'm Captain Hooked on Phonics," said Hempstead. "We figured we weren't going to win the spelling contest so we so wanted to go for the costume." 

"Our name is Bee a Star," said Ponus Ridge Middle School student Laura Gallagher.

NEF also announced the winners of its Shark Tank event, where students will be awarded funds for selected projects that benefit their school.


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