Local grade 6 student Hargina Birdi came out on top locally as part of the Canwest Canspell National Spelling Bee and went to Prince George to compete regionally.
On Saturday, February 26, while Fort St. James was focussed on the dog sled races, Hargina was competing against 39 students from Grades 4 to 8 for the regional title, which includes a trophy and a $5,000 academic award and a chance to compete at the national level. Three of the winners nationally get to compete internationally in Washinton, D.C.
While Hargina didn’t come away with the top spot regionally, she still had fun and learned a lot in the process.
In order to go to the Prince George spelling bee, students at David Hoy take a written test, and the student who does well enough on the written test can then compete in a school-wide spelling bee at the school.
Last year Hargina was second overall, and this year she won the top spot to make it to Prince George.
However, her job wasn’t done when she won the contest at David Hoy.
Students looking to compete at the higher levels are given study lists of different words to learn, 893 words to be exact.
Everyday from the end of January, Hargina said she studied to learn one page of words for the contest.
When Hargina travelled to Prince George with her family, she was impressed by the “really huge” stage where the competition took place.
“I was excited but nervous at the same time,” she said.
But overall, her focus was on the words.
Hargina was eliminated in the fourth round, making it up to twelfth spot overall.
“It was more nervous for us,” said Dave Birdi, Hargina’s father.
He and his wife were proud of her achievements and Hargina said she’s going to try again next year she enjoyed the competition so much.