Pawtucket’s lack of participation in spelling bee is shameful

Pawtucket’s lack of participation in spelling bee is shameful

Upon reading the article (March 13-19) in The Valley Breeze about the State Spelling Bee, in which a Pawtucket homeschooled 5th-grader participated, we learn that “Pawtucket Public Schools do not participate.”

There are 10 elementary schools and three middle schools in Pawtucket and to deny a child who may be qualified or given the opportunity to participate in the State Spelling Bee because there is a lack of interest within a school to work with students who may want to be involved in the Scripps Spelling Bee is shameful.

We are aware that understanding vocabulary words (definitions, pronunciation, roots of words, etc.) benefits children to excel in reading and writing. Great spellers are great readers! Pawtucket schools take pride in sports competition but not a spelling bee competition. The Pawtucket School Department should do more to allow students to compete for a chance to represent Rhode Island at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Teacher unions complain about homeschoolers and charter schools, which take away resources from public schools, and yet who represents Pawtucket – a homeschooled 5th-grader.

Esta V. Barcohana

Pawtucket