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LIFE of Tampa welcomes everyone, of all races, ethnicities, religions, family compositions, sexual orientations, learning styles, lifestyles, abilities and disabilities, and asks only that rules of civility, kindness and compassion be honored by all, for all.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Congratulations LIFE of Tampa Spelling Bee Winners!

Congratulations to Tommy Foster and Sophi L., shown at left with veteran Bee pronouncer, Loni Kaplan, winning first and second place respectively in the 2012 LIFE of Tampa Spelling Bee. Tommy won with the words “unanimous” and “embargo,” and goes on to compete at the March 3rd Regional Bee at Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg.

This year we also experimented with a Mini-Bee for 5-7 year olds, and we think it was pretty successful, giving our younger spellers an opportunity to have their own floor time, competing with others at their age and grade level.  Our Mini-Bee winner was 6 year old Aahan D.  He took on the bigger kids in the main Bee afterwards, too. Go Aahan! And look for a Mini-Bee again at next year’s event.
Our final Bee winner was Tommy Foster, in his second consecutive win at the LIFE of Tampa Spelling Bee, and our runner up was Sophi L., in her first Bee appearance, to which she brought confidence and skill, and her own personal brand of showmanship! Tommy goes on to compete at the Admiral Farragut Regional Bee on March 3rd, which I highly encourage those who are interested in learning more about competitive Spelling Bees to attend.

Interested in trying out the Bee next year? The best way to be successful at the Bee is to make spelling a regular part of your family learning experience.  To that end, there are some things you can do to improve spelling and vocabulary skills during the year. 

Weekly “Spelling Downs” - A Spelling Down is essentially a small, regular informal mini-Bee within a family , or in any small group.  It’s great practice, in a familiar environment, helps expand vocabulary and for students interested in competing in a local or regional Bee, can help hone skills like recognizing word origins and spelling patterns. Regular mini-Bees also help children become more comfortable with making mistakes and sometimes losing, which is an inevitable part of any competition, and in fact, of any effort.

Scripps Resources:
Other good resources:

Many thanks to the Community Learning Center at Spirit of Life for opening their doors to us on short notice, when we unexpectedly lost the use of our meeting space at the local library. They're working hard to provide lifelong learning for meaningful living, and we're grateful they supported our Bee!

Congratulations again to our winners, and to all our participating students, and we hope to see you all again  - and some new students! - next year at the LIFE of Tampa 2013 Spelling Bee!