When our son Josh was in elementary school, he participated in spelling bees and did very well. At one level, he won a set of World Book Encyclopedias; at another he won a set of Encyclopedia Britannica. At first they were a joy to have. His little sister would spend hours browsing and reading. You can imagine how useful they were to him more recently, however! He left them in his old room at home for years, and I finally prevailed on him to do something with them. Not sure what he did. Hard to keep, yet hard to give up.
As an adult, his word interest goes mainly to playing Scrabble and Boggle, but recently he was asked by a colleague at Purdue University, where he teaches, to be a part of her team in a spelling bee. It was a fundraiser for a literacy program, Adult Learners, in West Lafayette, Indiana. It was called Adult Learning Spell Day for Literacy. It cost $45 for teams of three to register.
Josh had the day available and was willing to help out. He even took his own cheering section with him—his wife Gina and children Kinley, 15, and Knox, 10.
When they arrived, the administrator mentioned that they didn’t have as many teams as they’d hoped for, so they waited a few minutes for others to show up. Then Josh’s colleague said, “Gina, why don’t you and the children be a team?” Gina immediately (to the teen’s dismay) agreed and paid her $45 to participate.
I’ve never even heard of a spelling bee with teams, but here’s how it works: When given a word, the team has a few seconds to discuss—and even write on a whiteboard—how to spell it. Then they take turns being the one to spell it for the audience.
One by one, teams dropped out until the only two left were the Purdue team and the Boyd team. What a stand-off! It took them about 20 more rounds to finally declare the Purdue team the winner after the Boyd team put two g’s in adagio.
As Josh said to his friend who had recruited him, “If you hadn’t talked Gina into participating, we could have been out of here an hour earlier!”
But I’m proud of my family for supporting a fundraiser for literacy and for doing it so well. And what an intresting way to condukt a speling be!
And whatever you do,whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17