Twenty-five years ago, the American Women/Austin held their first Great American Spelling Bee in Austin. Since 1994, more than 200 young people have participated in the annual event.
While this year’s spelling bee drew just three competitors, in the past as many as 40 students have taken part.
The year’s 1st place winner – 3rd grader Janiyah Johnson – correctly spelled 20 words out of a 150-word list that she and the other contestants were given to study.
Fourth graders Jimerreiah Nash won first place, while Sem’ja Myles placed second in their category.
The event – held April 19th in the auditorium of the Austin branch of the Chicago Public Library – was attended by family members and friends, who cheered each time a contestant spelled a word correctly.
Sem’ja explained how he prepared for the spelling bee this way: “I would write the words down multiple times and spell them out in my head and out loud multiple times.”
All three winners received a trophy and certificate; they were also given a goodie bag.