ROCKAWAY — In the age of spell check, it’s refreshing to know children still find it beneficial to learn their spelling words.
Roughly, 18 fourth- and fifth-graders competed in the Highlands District of the New Jersey State Federation of the Woman’s Club Spelling Bee held on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Assembly Church of God in Rockaway. Student representative spellers participated from area Woman’s Clubs from Jefferson, Long Valley, Parsippany, Somerset Hills, West Morris and Sparta. The Vernon Township Woman’s Club’s Elaine Hossfield served as bee moderator, while Maureen Blandino, Lois Marples and Frances Weiss were volunteer judges. Former Vernon Township Woman’s Club President Judy Filippini was the word pronouncer for the competition.
Hossfield welcomed the group of about 45 and recapped the traditional spelling bee rules of asking for a word to be repeated, defined or used within a sentence. She also warned about the possible use of homophones, words like steel and steal or plane and plain. Hossfield explained to the group that she attended all the area spelling bees and combined their best ideas to make the Highlands District Bee into a well-organized, fun event for participants and observers.
“There are no spelling losers today, everyone worked hard to attain your place in the competition,” Hossfield praised the youngsters. “If you miss a word, you will forever remember its spelling,” she said.
Hossfield joked with the group that her spelling bee nemesis was the word lackadaisical.
“I now know how to spell it but have probably never used the word,” she quipped.
Words like chorus, pesky and utensil peppered the rounds, as children misspelled more words, weeding the group to 10, seven then four and finally three participants.
The third- place winner was Kimberly Lam, second winner was Gregory Marino and first place mega winner was Almer Capalla-Santos of Sparta.
The three regional winners will participate in the State Championship on March 4 at the NJSFWC Headquarters in New Brunswick.
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