Spelling bee contest pupils get word-perfect

Pupils from various schools took part in the Young Minds spelling bee competition held at Tankiso Hall last Saturday.

Tongues rolled with precision as youngsters tried hard to impress judges at a spelling bee contest held at Tankiso hall in Gugulethu last Saturday, November 24.

This was the second annual edition of the event started by Young Mind’s founder, Ziyanda Baba.

Young Minds is a tutoring company with a focus on Grade 3 to 7 pupils, helping them with numeracy, writing and reading.

Ziyanda’s passion for reading and the written word saw her organise reading, writing and comprehension classes for children in the greater Gugulethu area.

In the past two months, these children were given more than hundred words which they had to familiarise themselves with to prepare for their spelling contest.

Like the proverbial bumblebees, the pupils were on point as they took to the task of dismantling each given word, much to the applause of the parents and those in the audience.

After the instruction of “please spell – ergonomics, chauvanism, democracy, etc you could hear pupils fighting with passion to spell each word correctly.

After two rounds of figuring out the spelling of words, only those who were thoroughly prepared were able to stay composed and hit the words on the head.

“You could see the flow and their knowledge of the words wrapped up in the composure of these children, even as the words were getting tougher,” said Ziyanda.

“We host the annual spelling bee to increase the vocabulary of pupils and hone better pronunciation of words. This is meant to encourage the culture of reading, and to get the parents to connect with their children as they have to practise the list of words they are given for the event,” she said.

The event started with high spirits from the children adorned in their bright Young Minds
golf shirts, who were looking prepared for the event, and mid-way through the event those who could keep calm under pressure and focus made it through the last stage, where the top three emerged.

There were tears and dejection from some children during the break, as Ziyanda indicated at the end of the event.

“Children must be given love and support and know that
they are special. The camaraderie of the children was amazing as
they would whisper, correcting each other after their peers missed spelling the word correctly.” she said.

Once again, and second year in a row, Khanya Mdlankomo was top of the class.