More Than Me students participated in a spelling competition later week against 25 school in Monrovia. Our photographer, Thomas, cause the event live…
Practice Makes Perfect
During the school year, the staff and teachers at the More Than Me Academy would organize occasional quizzes on Fridays as a way to recap the previous week’s material and create a friendly competition as an incentive to learn. It was also a good way for one of our teachers, Chris, to evaluate the students and identify those who were really excelling.
The Spelling Bee
Lucky for the More Than Me Girls, all that quiz practice was put to good use on a rainy July 17th. Because it is during the summer break, a school in Monrovia took the initiative to organize a spelling competition to keep students’ skills sharp. That day, the More Than Me team, consisting of 10 students, attended the competition with the real intention to win!
At 9am a crowd of people, including school principals, teacher, parents, students, and friends gathered to support their teams. After waiting 30 minutes for people to sit and settle down, the game started, and the More Than Me team won the “qualifications” round with an impressive performance.
Chris, who is also the team manager, explained how he managed the team: “We have a total of 10 girls, and for each round we have 5 girls collaborating and thinking together before spelling the word. I want all the girls to play with everybody so I mix the team before each round!”
The Importance of Education
Here in Liberia, education is one of the public’s main concerns. This competition was well received because the community understood the importance of supporting an event like this, in hopes of emphasizing education. People attending the competition were very involved and wanted their team to win- and things got pretty intense!
To the Finals!
Flash forward to the Semi-Final, the fourth round for our students. Everybody is very focused, as it is the opponent’s turn to spell a word. “International. I.N.T.E.R.N.A.T.I.O.N.N.A.L. International.” More Than Me jumps up from happiness even before judges deliver their verdicts. “WRONG! More Than Me- Can you spell the word ‘International’?” One fast and correct spelling from our Power Class student, Regina, and we are going to the final!
All the More Than Me employees gather outside with the 5 girls that will fight for the title. “Girls, this competition is not about me, not about you, it is for more than me. Win for your fellow classmates!”
Mr. Jallah, our Vice Principal, adds, “Do not be overly confident, and listen carefully to the spelling, ask to repeat if needed!”
The final teams are called into the speakers: everybody sits and watches each team quietly. A lot of complicated words (such as “squirrel” which for me, as a French man, is a word that often can cause me spelling nightmares) are spelled by both teams perfectly. The last word is coming: “dehydration.” A missing “h” on the word from the other team, and More Than Me wins the contest after 5 perfect rounds! Yeeha!
I asked three of the students, “Did you know you will win?” Their reply? “Of course we knew it!”
We are so proud of our girls and all that they accomplished. They are smart, powerful students who are learning to #FollowTheirDreams. Way to go More Than Me Academy- Congratulations on the win!