Competitive Bee Buzzes For Rim Literacy

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Rim Country Literacy is calling all wordsmiths, good spellers and adults who know how to have fun.

It is time for the area's only adult spelling competition. On Aug. 4, teams of four will compete for the roving trophy.

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Contestants made educated guesses at last year's Rim Country Literacy trivia bee. This year's bee is for spellers.

Each team comes up with 10 words unique to their profession.

"Part of the fun is how devious you can be choosing your 10 words," Su Connell, RCLP director said.

Words like "amortization," "capsulorhexis," "longitudinal" just might show up on the word list.

Let's All "Bee" for Literacy is the third annual event.

"Our goal this year is to raise at least $2,000," Connell said. The 16 teams who challenged their minds in the first spelling bee a few years ago raised $2,500. Last year's trivia bee was not quite as well attended, but the 13 teams raised $2,000.

With trivia, people can argue with the official answer, but spelling is either right or wrong, so RCLP has decided to stick with spelling.

This year, the competition is open to 15 teams.

There is a $100 minimum pledge per team to enter and members are encouraged to gather extra pledges. All donations are tax-deductible.

The Bee for Literacy will take place at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 4 at St. Philip's Parish Center.

Contenders will break out into classrooms for round one and round two, if necessary. The winning team from each classroom will compete in the final round.

Teams stay together so even if there is a weak link, the team stands a chance.

There is plenty of room for spectators at the final round, so it is okay to bring your cheering section, but no forming letters with your hands please, Connell said.

Payson Rotary took home the trophy from the trivia bee and Chaparral Pines took the trophy home at the first ever spelling bee.

Good spellers can win gift certificates to local restaurants, gift baskets or other fun and crazy prizes.

Refreshments will be served at the bee.

RCLP uses the money raised from the bee to help 150 to 200 people per year in their four programs: English language learners, pre-GED, adult basic education and the family program.

Adult volunteers receive training in the area of their choice.

"We are still primarily and adult, 16 and up program," Connell said.

RCLP is geared to educate those people mother tongue is not English and people who have not had a well-rounded education.

"We have a couple of people we are helping from China and Vietnam," Connell said.

"The GED is getting harder and harder to pass," Connell said.

She is excited about a new partnership in the fall with the Maricopa chapter of Literacy Volunteers of America.

LVA has a "user-friendly" program "similar to an interactive college class" for adults who want to complete their GED.

Participants' knowledge will be assessed at RCLP, then they will be able to take classes online and have regular question-and-answer sessions with a professor.

"A lot of our customers are working people, so this will allow them to be assessed, then work on their own time," Connell said.

Also in the works is a "how to manage a family budget" class.

Inquiries about spelling bee registration, volunteering or signing up for programs should be directed to (928) 468-7257 or e-mail rclp@cbiwireless.com.

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