Troy University English Department sponsors Pike County Scripps Spelling Bee on Feb. 2

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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Troy University and E.W. Scripps Company are teaming up to sponsor the Pike County Scripps Spelling Bee on Feb. 2 in the Troy University Stadium Towers.

The inaugural event, which will begin at 10 a.m., will feature three contestants, all from Covenant Christian School – Angel Brogdon, a third grader and Ellis Adamson and Jax Horn, both fourth-grade students.

The spelling bee is open to students from kindergarten through middle school, and the winner of the Pike County Spelling Bee will move on to represent the county at the state bee in March.

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The national spelling bee, which will be held in May, began in 1925 when nine newspapers joined together to launch the bee as a literacy effort. The Scripps Spelling Bee was featured in the hit 2006 film “Akeelah and the Bee,” starring Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, about a girl who participates in the spelling bee.

“The Scripps Spelling Bee has promoted literacy for almost a century, and the Troy University English Department is delighted to partner with schools in the community,” said Dr. Richard Scott Nokes, an organizer for the Pike County event. “Spelling bees are accessible to anyone and offer a level playing field. They don’t require a lot of money or special equipment. The first year the champion was a boy; the second year the champion was a girl.

“Winners have been from every type of economic background, have been immigrants, and have even come from developing nations. Any child can win. In 2019, a girl in northern Alabama was a national champion. Why not Pike County?”

Nokes is working with English Department Student Assistants Hailey Alcathie and Samantha Chancellor to provide an experience where participants receive the “spellebrity” treatment.

TROY mascot T-Roy will go to the school to pick up the participants and escort the spellers to the Stadium Tower where they will compete in front of a crowd of students from their schools. After the competition, the spellers will be treated to lunch in the Trojan Dining Hall and be given a tour of the campus.

Nokes said Troy City and Pike County schools were unable to include the inaugural event on their calendars, but are showing their commitment to participate in future spelling bees by providing judges for this year’s event.

Judges for the event are Cynthia Thomas, Superintendent of Troy City Schools; Tracy Arnold, Instructional Support Specialist with Pike County Schools; and Brenda Campbell, a founding member of the Troy Humanities Alliance.