Winners emerge in spelling competition in Abuja


Winners emerge in spelling competition in Abuja

By Bridget Ikyado

Judee Victor, a JSS three student of Bright Steps Schools New Nyanya, has emerged the overall winner of the third edition of the Project Hope Spelling Bee competition, in Abuja.

Esther Peter of Divine Model International Gifted School, Ado Nasarawa State, came second while Ugonna Nwakeleme, also of Bright Steps schools came third.

The spelling competition was organised by Paraclete Hope Foundation of Abuja.

In her remarks, Mrs Felicia Sams, Coordinator of Paraclete Hope Foundation, said 25 schools participated in the spelling competition.

According to her, the project is part of the foundation’s ‘Send a Child to School’ campaign.

“This is the third edition of the spelling bee, we actually started in 2019.

“Our aim is to knock out stage fright among children to build boldness and encourage them to speak out for themselves irrespective of the situation they find themselves.

“Speaking out rightly and guided, that is the motivation for starting up this project.”

Sams said it was also to encourage children to speak fluently.

“I have passion to see children communicate fluently, communicate unhindered.

“I will say that basically the challenge so far has been funding, putting the children together, getting them nice dress; all thanks to our partners who came along to help us push this year’s prizes.

“Through the help of the Helpline Foundation and Nikki Udezue and Voice of Help International, we are giving out N50, 000 as our first prize.

“The second position goes home with N20, 000 and the third with N10, 000, and lots of consolation prizes,“she said.

“One of our challenges is funding. We plan to bring in technological advancement into it so that it can aid the way they spell and we don’t have to keep them for too long.

“We are trusting that the ministry of education and other agencies that officiated will help to sponsor this project,”she said

According to her, previous winners of the spelling competition came up tops in other events they contested.

“Winners from the previous season went ahead to participate in other competitions and the reviews we got showed that they came top in those competition.

“We hope that we get more funding to enable us cover more scope and make it more befitting,”she said.

On the send a child to school project, she said so far, the foundation has been able to send about 67 children to school.

“We have records to show for it. At Nyanya Primary school we were able to send 67 children to school,” she said.

One of the partners, Mrs Nkiruka Udezue, President, Nikki Udezue Foundation, said they would continue to support efforts to empower underprivileged children.

” We are partners of the Paraculate foundation and the Spelling Bee 3.0.

This is our first opportunity to be partnering with them, it is also the first time we are coming out for something like this.

“It is actually really an amazing experience seeing kids from all over the world coming together, the orphanages, the private schools.

“I think that is very important and in line with the SDGs.

“Seeing them interact, removing the fright and standing in front of the entire crowd, I think everybody is a winner.

“It encourages them, I think reducing the inequality too makes them all feel part of one another and ensure their fulfilment as they grow up.”

Also speaking, Damaris Yakubu of Headline Foundation for the Needy Abuja, commended the organisers for developing the mental capacity of children.

He urged Government to support such initiative to enhance the learning process.

“If the government can come into it and help especially in improving the lives of children in public and other schools, the funding will go a very long way.”

The winner, Victor said he was excited for coming first and making his school and parents proud.

“I am here as a representative of Bright Steps School. I took the first position and I feel very happy.

“This is my first time and I am happy with the way I performed. I didn’t expect the first position. I prayed and handed the competition over to God.

“I want to thank my teachers because they put in great efforts. We practiced every day, the vocabularies added to my knowledge.

“I want to say that whatever you put your heart into you will succeed, I hope that this competition will be sustained so that it will help children to go to school,”she said.

Both Peter and Nwokeleme who came second and third, also appreciated the organisers and their schools for the opportunity given to them. (NAN)