RIPON – Normally it’s the students fumbling through the words of the timeless spelling bee.
But thanks to a unique effort by the Ripon Rotary Club, it’ll be parents and teachers on the hot seat as they try to raise money to outfit every Ripon Unified and Ripon Christian Schools third grade student with a personalized dictionary.
On Tuesday, March 2, teams of five spellers will square off inside of the Ripon High School Multipurpose room . They will all be brushing up on words like rapacious and how to use them in a sentence.
Even though it might have been decades since some of the competitors have hit the books hard enough to stand a chance to win, those who really benefit from the hard work will be Ripon’s third graders – the hundreds of which will soon be toting personalized dictionaries sure to come in handy as they take that next step into fourth grade.
“It’s just so wonderful to look down and see the smiles on their faces when they see their names on those dictionaries,” said Ripon Rotary President Laurie Reilly. “They come up to us thrilled that they’re able to look up things and find pictures that help them memorize what they’re trying to learn. Everybody has a great time.”
Ripon Unified Superintendent Louise Nan has conducted adult spelling bees as fundraisers at previous districts. She since taken the reins on making sure that Ripon’s first annual goes off without a hitch.
This will be the third year that students will receive the hard-bound dictionaries that will not only contain the child’s name inside, but also Rotary International’s Four Way Test: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be benificial to all concerned?
“Our hope is that those kids will read those questions and find them a great guiding principle in all decisions that they make,” said Rotary publicity chair Stephanie Hobbs.
The Ripon Rotary is now registering teams of five spellers at $20 each for $100 for a team, and registrations will be accepted through Feb. 28. For more information about the event or how to obtain a registration form, contact Reilly at 985-7445.