How good is your spelling?
The ability to spell words correctly is a gift very few of us still have, especially in the era of spell checker and autocorrect.
That, however, is not the case for the inmates of the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre who prepare intensely each year to participate in the Free Bee Spelling Competition, for a chance to be crowned champion speller.
The Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre held the Grand finals of its FREE Bee Competition under the theme: Furthering Rehabilitation through Education and Empowerment (FREE).
Twelve inmates vied for the top spot and in the run-up to the competition were trained not to just spell by sight and recall, but also by using the meaning, origin, context and pronunciation of the word.
The competition comprised of three sessions with each contestant spelling approximately six words in both the first and second sessions. Each competitor was given three strikes after the third strike they were automatically eliminated.
With eight competitors still in the competition, the spell masters had to turn to the dictionary to find new words, having exhausted their list. It was at this stage that the number of competitors began to fall steadily and eventually a champion emerged.
Speaking at the Grand Finals Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security the Hon. Rudyard Spencer applauded the organizers of the competition whilst commending the finalist. “I want to commend everyone both inmates staff and stakeholder who were instrumental in putting this competition together. To the inmates I want you to remember that you are all winners. Being in the finals means you have already won. Your hard work has paid off and I want to congratulate all of you, continue to do well.”
The Spellers were awarded for Most Committed, Best Effort, Most Improved, Most Valuable and The Superintendent’s Award for Most Spirited Speller. These awards were in addition to the crowning of a Champion Speller, The First Runner-up and the Second Runner-up. Prizes such as bags, gifts vouchers for shoes, cash awards and trophies were presented to winning spellers.
The Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre Free Bee Competition is the brainchild of an inmate and is geared towards promoting literacy by providing participants with a positive goal to work toward. The competition gives inmates a forum to display the fruits of their hard work while improving their spelling. The competition also aids inmates in learning concepts; improving comprehension; improving study skills; developing self-confidence, communication and public speaking skills, as well as the ability to thrive under pressure.