At a glance, it is easy to think that spelling words is a fun but useless endeavor. Alright, you can spell the word Schizophrenia, so what?
A deeper look however will reveal that a Spelling Bee is in some ways a matchless gem in the development of not only a child’s literary ability but also forming their character.
We know from experience that to jump hurdles and endure hardship is a proven way to produce traits that will lead to a balanced and successful life.
The many stories of Olympians jumping insurmountable hurdles in order to reach desired goals at the recently concluded Olympics in Tokyo, Japan are sufficient proof of this fact.
A Spelling bee provides every child who participates in it with a nice mix of opportunities to produce desired character traits that they would have otherwise missed out on.
Consider the case of Aaron Bamuke, winner of the 5th edition of the Online Spelling Bee that was held on 21st, August, 2021 on Zoom in Uganda. He emerged winner after spelling the word Lassitude correctly in the 5th round of the competition.
Amidst the jubilation of his family and friends, it would be easy to forget that he started his spelling bee journey in Primary 3 at and continued until this edition.
Aaron Bamuke posing for a photo after near his home in Tororo.
He has spent many hours looking at words, finding out their origin and meaning, paying attention to their relationship to other words and what impact they make in a sentence to better spell them which is a great skill that will benefit him for a lifetime.
At several bees, he has had to learn how to pay attention, as judges do not repeat words, to be self-controlled, thinking carefully about a word before spelling it instead of blurting it out and making unnecessary mistakes.
He has had to learn humility and benevolence, gladly cheering for others as they win bee after bee. He has had to persevere, keeping hope alive, returning for several bees until at last, he won!
Did he improve his literary ability? You bet. Research has shown that children who spell well tend to also read and write well to connect dots effectively and communicate ideas clearly.
It is no wonder that 100% of all National Spelling Bee winners since 2013 are showing undeniable markers for a successful life, for example Ms. Nicolette Nabiryo, winner of the 2013 Spelling Bee is enrolled at Caldwell University in the USA in a pre-medicine course.
Literary ability is not the only thing he walked away with, neither is the I-Touch tablet and other goodies he received, Aaron walked away with a chiseled soul, a wealth of character preparing him for a balanced life.
Will he be successful? We do not know, but from where we are standing, the future looks very bright indeed.
When you enter your child, school, relative or acquaintance into the Spelling Bee competition, you are giving them the opportunity of a lifetime, and whether they win it or not, they will be changed forever.
And that is what we a here for, to help you and all the children in Uganda, see the World differently.
You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.