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NEF Hosts Second Annual Community Spelling Bee

Students, teachers, parents go compete for a cause

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Norwalk, CT | Added on March 27, 2014 At 04:07 PM

The spelling bees were abuzz Wednesday night. 

"We didn't purchase any of our lifelines or anything of that sort that a lot of the other teams did, so we were just going off the top of our heads so I think we did alright," said Norwalk High School senior Christian Bonebarke.  

Twenty-six teams of teachers, students and parents went head-to-head at Norwalk Concert Hall for the second annual Community Spelling Bee to benefit the Norwalk Education Foundation.

"We did this to bring every one together," said Gloria Tenofsky, Norwalk Education Foundation executive director.  "And its also a fundraiser for us, but its more importantly because we're not raising a ton of money, a community builder."

"It's a great event," said Doug Hempstead of the Norwalk Common Council. "It's a fundraiser for our kids. It's fun, it's education. I think we tell the kids you can have fun learning how to spell."  

Spellers had 30 seconds after hearing each word pronounced to consult with each other before spelling it out on the white board provided.  

"I think we did better than we thought," said Sacred Heart University student Amanda Otero. "We got stumped we should have used our spell check but we forgot."  

The Norwalk Education Foundation is an independent organization that has been working with the Norwalk community, its public school system, teachers and students since 1998. It plans to raise just under $10,000 from the event to help pilot new community wide educational programs. 

"We focus our giving on teacher effectiveness, community outreach, so we do forums to explain what the common core means," said Tenofsky. "And without us raising that money, they wouldn't have the money to launch that program so what we do is really key to Norwalk schools."  

This year's winners, the Library Ladies were awarded a $500 check. 

"I think it's something that a lot of people don't know about, so if us as younger kids can get involved with it, it's nice to help spread the word to a lot of people who wouldn't know about it otherwise."  

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