April 28, 2006 |
How do you spell irresistible? Another iridescent tile in the spelling-bee-as-metaphor-of-America mosaic, Akeelah and the Bee is an endearing, inspirational tale of an 11-year-old abecedarian from South Central Los Angeles who wins her middle-school contest and can't imagine that she'll advance to the regionals, let alone the nationals, of what might be called the Orthographic Olympics. Imagine The Karate Kid hooking up with Boyz N the Hood and spawning Girlz and the Word.
March 30, 2006 |
How do you spell irresistible? Another iridescent tile in the spelling-bee-as-metaphor-of-America mosaic, Akeelah and the Bee is an endearing inspirational of an 11-year-old abecedarian from South Central Los Angeles who wins her middle-school contest and can't imagine that she'll advance to the regionals, let alone the nationals, of what might be called the Orthographic Olympics. Imagine The Karate Kid hooking up with Boyz N the Hood and spawning Girlz and the Word. As Akeelah Anderson, the underachiever fearful of being branded a brainiac by sister seventh graders, Keke Palmer soars, carrying writer/director Doug Atchison's film on new 'tween wings.
November 18, 2005 |
Saul Naumann teaches religion, with a specialty in Jewish mysticism. His 11-year-old daughter, Eliza, practices it. She connects with the divine via spelling bees, where words are made manifest to her in ways that Moses might find familiar. Bee Season is lit by human sunbeam Flora Cross as Eliza, whose deep-welled eyes suggest she can see the infinite. The story is a sixth-grader's quest for God and family connection amidst the most fractured of clans. When this girl with the rosebud mouth forms the letters of a word, it just might be The Word.
February 8, 2005 |
Can you spell b-e-t-t-e-r t-h-a-n B-r-o-a-d-w-a-y? If yes, then you'll be heading two blocks off 43d Street and Broadway - just far enough from the mess composed of this season's new musicals, and into the delights of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This modest musical, which opened last night for a month-long run Off-Broadway, has a big heart and an even bigger intellect. It begs for the intimacy of a house that is not a Broadway palace, and it has one in Second Stage Theatre, where the show's easygoing nature and simple construction fill every inch of the space.
June 3, 2004 |
All five local entrants in the 77th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington were eliminated yesterday after failing to earn enough points to advance to the third round of competition. The five - Esther Hur, 13, of Willingboro; Nathan Jun Yang, 13, of Primos; Matthew C. White, 12, of Norristown; Tricia Ann Powles, 12, of Philadelphia; and Michael Philip Baldassari, 13, of West Chester - participated in the oral round yesterday morning. Each had one chance to spell a word.
June 2, 2004 |
If Nathan Jun Yang was feeling any panickiness yesterday, he wasn't showing it. After a time spent rapt in front of books and manuscripts containing some of the 77th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee words, Yang says, he "just kind of stopped" because he had studied enough. Nathan, 13, a seventh grader at Garnet Valley Middle School in Concord Township, Delaware County, decided to retreat to the quiet of his family's hotel room in Washington and just chill. Five spellers from the region took their places with 260 other national contestants for a written test of 25 words in Round 1 yesterday.
May 30, 2003 |
Little wonder that the final rounds of the National Spelling Bee are televised on ESPN. Nothing else in American sport - with the possible exception of triple-overtime in Game 7 of the NBA Finals - pumps more adrenaline into players and spectators. Those who missed yesterday's 2003 finals on ESPN fortunately have Spellbound, the bewitching tale of eight contenders at the 1999 orthographic Olympics. As affectionate as it is affecting, this nail-biter is a story of American achievers, some of whose mother and grandmother tongues help make English the linguistic smorgasbord it is - and thus so darned hard to spell.
March 23, 2003 |
It just didn't seem fair. One of the teams in last year's Literacy Now Spelling Bee came dressed as Miss Piggy, Fran Drescher and Sonny Bono. The spellmaster asked Miss Piggy to spell ham. Then, she had to spell pig. Oink may have been yet another word. The team's cheerleaders went wild, hooting and hollering. The other teams - including the Atco Lions (dressed in lion suits) and employees from Kramer Beverage Co. (in the ballpark beer-vending outfits) had to spell words such as antipyretic (meaning "anything that reduces fever")
April 8, 2001 |
Jacquelyn Volk paused for a few seconds before spelling wicket. She and nine friends, gathered around a small table filled with word lists, dictionaries and a bag of candy, were practicing for a bee. They challenged one another to spell pinniped, tremolo and dozens of other words that spice up the English language. These spelling champs don't collect Pokemon cards and can't name all the Backstreet Boys. In Volk and company's minds, puffy refers to cheeks, not a rap star. The Middletown Senior Spellers are a group of Lower Bucks adults who travel afar to compete in bees, just as spellers their grandchildren's ages do. Levittown's George Caisse, 79, founded the group five years ago. His many victories on the spelling bee circuit have cemented his role as the club's leader - the person who introduces new words for members to learn, runs the round-table drills, and keeps track of the group's victories.
February 19, 2001 |
The Chester County Health Department is inviting fifth-grade classes in public, private and parochial schools in the county to enter its second annual environmental photo contest. The contest is designed to educate young people about environmental health issues that affect their communities, and challenges classes to identify environmental threats through the lens. In addition, each classroom must compile an essay that describes the threat to the community and identifies solutions for its eradication.