DEPARTMENT HOSTS A SPELLING BEE COMPETITION

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Children from CYCCs participating in the Spelling Bee Competition at Mary Moodley Child and Youth Care Centre in Benoni

By Madali Chibambu 

  • More than seventy youths from various child and youth care centres (CYCC) participated in the Spelling BEE competition organised by the Gauteng Department of Social Development, aiming to enhance vocabulary and boost confidence among young individuals.
  • Held at the Mary Moodley Child and Youth Care Centre in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, the competition saw institutions like Walter Sisulu, Mary Moodley, Rearabilwe, Desmond Tutu, Dr. F&F, Leeuwkop, Igugulethu, and Don Mattera competing across five categories, spanning from Grade 6 to Grade 12.
  • Through friendly competition and interaction with peers, the event fostered cognitive development, language proficiency, and spelling accuracy among participants, with the primary goal of identifying individuals with exceptional spelling skills and promoting vocabulary development.

More than seventy youths from different child and youth care centres (CYCC) participated in the Spelling BEE competition hosted by the Gauteng Department of Social Development.

The competition, which aims to assist in the development of young people’s vocabulary and build their confidence and self-esteem, was held at the Mary Moodley Child and Youth Care Centre in Benoni, Ekurhuleni. Institutions that took part in the spelling BEE include Walter Sisulu, Mary Moodley, Rearabilwe, Desmond Tutu, Dr. F&F, Leeuwkop, Igugulethu, and Don Mattera.

The targeted grades were from Grade 6 to Grade 12, with five categories: foundation, intermediate phase 1, intermediate phase 2, senior phase 1, and senior phase 2. Judges asked participants to spell a word and respond within a minute, and they were also given rules before the competition started. Winners were awarded with certificates, and it was all smiles and jubilation.

Peter Moleka, a team leader at Mary Moodley, says the day means a lot to all the learners because they can interact with each other and make friends too. “The holistic development of young people is very important, and programs assist in ensuring that it is catered to. The Spelling BBE competition assists in the development of young people’s vocabulary and builds their confidence and self-esteem,” says Moleka.

“Allowing them to have friendly competition with other children builds morale and allows them to excel. The competition is looking at promoting the cognitive development of young people through friendly competition that promotes learning,” added Moleka added.

All learners were given the opportunity to hold the mic, speak while facing their peers, and if the spelling was correct, they would applaud the participant.

The Mary Moodley Spelling BEE Coordinator, Phindile Dube, says the primary goal was to identify and recognise individuals with exceptional spelling skills and promote the development of vocabulary, language proficiency, and spelling accuracy.

“We have already started a committee, and we meet quarterly; however, the competition will be a continuous event to promote interactions among children and care workers. We will make sure that our children practice reading all the time since they are more interested in technology, and we will give them more work to read. We thank the department for allowing us to host the event.

Terry, not her real name, from Walter Sisulu CYCC, says she was looking forward to the competition because she was practising every day before going to bed. “The competition was exciting because I was able to make new friends from Don Mattera, and I will ask my “mommy” to take me there so that we can practice our reading,” she says.

Picture by Kedi Dube

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