SOUTHINGTON - The 8th Annual SEF Community Spelling Bee will convey bragging rights to the team that wins the coveted title of SEF Spelling Champion on April 19.
The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Southington High School Auditorium at 720 Pleasant St. and the proceeds will help foster education grants for local teachers. Paula Knight, event co-chair, noted that in past years the event has raised an average of $5,000 for such grants.
“The purpose of this Spelling Bee fundraiser is to support initiatives and grants that teachers write which will allow them to go the extra step for their students,” said Knight. “We hope that this will help them to develop something in line with their curriculum, ignite a love of learning and bring great enthusiasm to the classroom.”
Twenty-five to thirty teams of three made up of local citizens, politicians, businesses, educators, students, police, fire and other public officials will compete. Last year, the ‘Rotary Club of Southington’ with Kate Sirignano, Kris Nola and Gloria Brown won the Spelling Bee for the second year in a row.
“Our Foundation has been growing for the past six years,” said Knight. “We have had great support from our schools, from local businesses, from the YMCA and the STEPS initiative.”
The “Bee Master” for the event will be Steve Proffitt. Judges for the evening will be Southington Public Schools Superintendent Timothy Connellan and SPS Language Arts Coordinator Stephanie Lawlor.
Knight said that for those considering signing up, there’s no anxiety or humiliation with this event. Participants will write their words on a white board and confer with their teammates, and there will be no microphone for participants.
Teams must sign-up by this Monday, April 9. Participation is $100 per person or $300 per team. Although teams are primarily adults from the community, high school clubs and groups may also register for a lesser fee. Entry fees are fully tax-deductible. Costumes, themes, and mascots are encouraged.
“In past years, a team from the Southington Community Cultural Arts Center came dressed as artists, another team wore caps and gowns and another carried wings and wands,” said Knight. “Teams are also encouraged to invite supporters to come cheer them on.
“This is all about having fun and raising money for a good cause. If you don’t want to put a team together but still want to support us, we are very grateful for donations.”
To register, call Knight at 860-681-6098 or visit southingtoneducationfoundation.org.
Spectator admission is free, however, visitors are asked to bring a nonperishable food item as a donation to Southington Community Services.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or .