On the 18th of June 2016, the Rotaract club of Kigali city (RCKC), successfully conducted a spelling competition, dubbed “Spelling Bee Rwanda 2016”. The contest, the very first one of its kind in the city of Kigali, was conducted at King David Academy brought together 70 participants from seven (7) high schools in Rwanda, out of whom 21 students were able to beautifully display their extra-ordinary spelling skills. The participating schools were; King David Academy, the hosting school, Lycee de Kigali, La Colombiere, New Life School (Kayonza), FAWE Girls’ School, Kagarama Secondary School and Green Hills Academy.
The spelling competition was the very first one to involve a number of schools in Rwanda and was hosted under the theme, “Spelling your way to success”. Before the beginning of the competition, students were cautioned that the competition was not only about who would win or lose but also to help them enrich their English vocabulary, public speaking skills, self-confidence as well as empower them with the ability to deliver a given task under pressure.
Students were also reminded that for as long as they were among those chosen to represent their respective schools, their efforts were highly valued. The main rule of the competition was to be able to spell a word right for the first time.
Each of the participants were allowed to practice words falling in the categories of Family, Education and Sports. Among all the 21 participants, David Kato expressed extraordinary spelling skills, emerging as the only person we were searching for…The Spelling Bee Rwanda 2016 Champion. As he walked away with a mega trophy, he along with the other top four winners of the contest were awarded with a year’s membership at the Kigali Public Library. The other contestants were awarded, each with a dictionary, courtesy of Grace Rwanda to further enhance their spelling as well as reading skills. The fair judgement was a decision of two fine judges; Judge Floriane, a Rotarian from the Rotary club of Minnesota, and Judge Roger, a Rotaractor from the Rotaract Club of Kigali City.
During his remarks, Past President Raj Rajendran who presided over the event commended efforts by the Rotaract Club of Kigali City to bring together students in such an educating competition. He also commended all student that participated in this competition reminding them that it will help them to lay foundation to a rich culture of reading. On behalf, of the Rotary Club of Kigali Virunga, he also pledged full support towards scaling up the spelling competitions to include the participation of other schools.
RCKC President, Faridah Kamariza also extended her appreciation to the participating schools for their cooperation and support, pledging on behalf of the club, that more efforts will be consolidated to make the spelling competitions even bigger in the coming years. She also promised that the competition will be held on an annual basis and it will be hosted on rotational basis by all the participating schools to foster a better relationship between different schools as well as interaction amongst students.
Through the Spelling Bee project, the Rotaract Club of Kigali City intends to make a difference in Rwandan communities through contributing to Rotary International’s area of focus, “Basic Education and Literacy”. With the success of the Spelling project, the club will also be in a good position to promote the culture of reading among secondary school students within the country. Our appreciation goes to Grace Rwanda, the Kigali Public Library, Rotary Club de Kigali, Rotary Club of Kigali Virunga as well as the entire Rotary family for their invaluable support towards the success of Spelling Bee Rwanda 2016.