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The NZ Spelling Bee celebrates tenth birthday

Hon Hekia Parata

Minister of Education

26 February 2014       Media Statement       

The NZ Spelling Bee celebrates tenth birthday

Education Minister Hekia Parata celebrated the tenth birthday of The New Zealand Spelling Bee at an event at Rata Street School in Wellington today.

The New Zealand Spelling Bee, which is run by a charitable trust, has seen thousands of Kiwi kids discover a love for language, and nine students crowned National Spelling Bee Champion, over the past decade.

Celebrating the birthday, Ms Parata and 2013 National Spelling Bee Champion, Nithya Narayanan, were on hand to cut the cake and launch a new Years 1 - 8 classroom spelling programme to eager Year 5 and 6 spellers at the school.

“Over the last 10 years, the New Zealand Spelling Bee has made a positive difference for many children,” Ms Parata says.

“With the launch of this new programme, which is available online and free of charge, teachers will be able to use this resource to help raise the spelling culture in the classroom and to get kids interested in spelling from when they first start school.”

The new resource has been developed with the support of a new sponsor – the Wright Family Trust, which owns and operates the ‘School’s Out’ Before and After School Care and Holiday programme.

The New Zealand Spelling Bee will continue to run the annual National Spelling Bee competition. The next winner will receive the title of 2014 Spelling Bee Champion and $5,000 in prize money for their future education.

Two new annual teachers’ awards worth $5,000 each were also announced at the event, which will recognise those teachers who have developed a creative and effective way to help their students embrace literacy.   

“Awards like these are another way to publicly recognise and celebrate our teachers who are doing a great job of educating our young people,” Ms Parata says.

“Celebrating excellence in education is an important part of the Government’s commitment to raising the status of the teaching profession, and publicly acknowledging the powerful contribution the profession makes to lifting overall student achievement.” “Hosting the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in March together with Festivals of Education in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, introducing the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, establishing the new professional body EDUCANZ, and the $359 million investment into better career pathways, are all part of acknowledging the profession, raising its status, and recognising the critical contribution that quality education achievement makes to the future prosperity of New Zealand,” Ms Parata says.

ENDS

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