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Adult spelling bee generates funds to buy Ripon 3rd graders dictionaries
Joe Morgan of ‘The Average Joes’ recites a word during the Ripon Rotary Spelling Bee Tuesday night at the Ripon High multipurpose room. Proceeds from the event will go towards purchasing dictionaries for all third grade students in Ripon. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

RIPON – “Go look it up” is something that third grade students in Ripon are about to hear a lot more often.

Almost a dozen teams were on hand at Ripon High Tuesday night for the annual Ripon Rotary Spelling Bee – an event organized to help furnish every third grade student in Ripon with their own Macmillan dictionary.

Teams included school parent-faculty clubs, regular parents, and even five of the six Almond Blossom Queen candidates – including 2010 Miss Ripon Joie Darretta.

According to Rotarian Stephanie Hobbs, the turnout and the atmosphere were both good indicators that the organization will have no problem reaching the $2,800 mark that will ensure every student has their own dictionary.

“I think that everybody is excited and you can just feel the energy in the room. It’s for a great cause, and I think that everybody here is having a good time while supporting that,” said Hobbs. “Even after tonight people will still be able to sponsor dictionaries for individual students that they may know, or even those that they don’t know.”

The teams – which consisted of five participants that all pre-registered to take part in the event – were first treated to a round of 25 words from the third grade curriculum that each team member had to spell on a sheet of a paper.

A designated team captain then took on the next portion of the event, which closely resembles the traditional spelling bee – the word being read off and used in a sentence by word master Don Moyer before an answer was given by one of the participants.

Superintendent and Rotarian Louise Nan looked forward to later this year when the books themselves are distributed to classrooms and lessons on how to best utilize the text are introduced to make learning with them even more fun.

“This is a gift to our students – both those in Ripon Unified and those at Ripon Christian – that they’ll be able to take with them,” Nan said. “An event like this is a great way to raise funds, and it’s a great literary project from Rotary International that all of the members are glad to be a part of.”

To sponsor a $10 dictionary for a student, or for more information about the program, contact Danielle Pierce at 254-2102. The name of the donor will be transcribed on the inside cover of the book along with Rotary International’s “Four Way Test.”