Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

March 3, 2006

Legislators attend spelling bee hosted by UMKC School of Education

The UM-Kansas City School of Education played host to the Kansas City, Mo., school district’s fourth grade spelling bee on Friday, Feb. 24, as part of a celebration of African-American History Month. Sen. Yvonne Wilson (D-Kansas City), Rep. Craig Bland (D-Kansas City), Rep. Melba Curls (D-Kansas City), and Rep. Sharon Sanders Brooks (D-Kansas City) attended the spelling bee, where they presented state resolutions from the House and Senate to recognize the participating schools for their achievements. “We want to be sure that the community knows that the state supports and acknowledges the efforts of the students, the teachers and the parents,” Wilson said. This was the first year the campus served as host to the spelling bee, but UMKC Chancellor Guy Bailey said it won’t be the last.

Fourth grade students from J.S. Chick African Centered Schule’ and Sandford B. Ladd African Centered Schule’ participated in the competition, which included approximately 30 students. John Graham, a student from J.S. Chick Elementary, came in first place and was awarded a personal computer from sponsor Kansas City Power and Light. J.S. Chick elementary students Kiara Johnson and Cameron Hightower Banks finished in second and third place, respectively. Each of the top three finishers received a trophy and all students received a certificate and ribbon for their efforts. The sponsor also provided $400 to the UMKC School of Education, which will use the funds for scholarships.

The UMKC School of Law also presented each participant a certificate for $1,000 to be used toward admission if they choose to attend the UMKC law school. Debbie Brooks, manager of admissions at the UMKC School of Law, said the school thought it more than appropriate to recognize each of the participating students with the award because they all demonstrated many of the skills needed to be successful in law school.

Rep. Sanders Brooks was impressed with the children’s performance at the spelling bee, which was attended by parents, teachers and many of the competitors’ fellow students. “Those were fourth grade students spelling words at the sixth, seventh and eighth grade levels,” Brooks said. “This once again shows the outstanding achievement of the African Centered schools within the Kansas City school district.”

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