SAPULPA, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Blind’s Braille Bees beat their own 2017 performance, winning the top prize in the 2018 Spelling Bee held April 5 by the Creek County Literacy Program.
This was the first time Richelle Zampella, Kaylee Ragon and Brianna Brennan won the overall prize against adult and student competitors.
They also won school division and best team name trophies.
Last year, the same team earned 1st place in the schools category and 2nd place overall. This was their fifth year to compete.
Faye Miller, an OSB teacher and orientation and mobility specialist, coaches the team.
“First of all, I want to thank the Sapulpa Lions for telling us about the competition and offering to sponsor our team for five years,” Miller said.
“The students did not make any mistakes in spelling 36 words,“ she added. “This year, extra practice before and after school and on the weekends gave tour team an edge in the competition.”
The Sapulpa Lions Club sponsored the OSB team at the competition and literacy program fundraiser, which was held at Sapulpa High School Commons.
“We have sponsored the OSB students in the spelling bee every year,” Stella Neal, Sapulpa Lions Club officer wrote in an email announcing the news to supporters. “They always win the school category, but last night they won the entire spelling bee… and were elated to receive a huge trophy.”
Teams had only 30 seconds to correctly spell each word, according to contest guidelines published in the spelling bee program. When the bell rang, they showed their words to monitors who tallied each team’s points. The high-scoring teams in each division advanced to the ”Ultimate Stinger Round” where the OSB Braille Bees were declared the ultimate spelling bee winners.
The Creek County Literacy Program focuses on youth and adult literacy. The organization provides trained volunteer tutors who work with adults to improve basic reading and writing skills. Their tutors assist struggling readers in first and second grades and provide after-school tutoring for youth. For more information, phone 918-224-9647.
The Oklahoma School for the Blind offers specialized education for students with visual impairments as well as state-mandated academic courses serves students age 3 through 12th-grade,. Students learn valuable independent living skills and gain proficiency in the use of accessible technology that helps bridge gaps to employment. For more information, phone 877-229-7136 toll free or visit http://osb.k12.ok.us/.