March 3, 2014
Send Them Both...
You may have heard about a couple of special kiddos, who recently exhausted the list of spelling words that would ultimately determine the winner of the Jackson County Spelling Bee. The Kansas City, Missouri (side note: If you haven't visited Kansas City, it's an underrated and totally awesome city) tweens battled it out over the course of several hours, still remaining supportive and respectful of each other's continued success.
So, here's how it went down. Sophia Hoffman, a fifth-grader at Highland Park Elementary, and Kush Sharma, a seventh-grader at Frontier School of Innovation, started the day with 23 other bright spellers. Although, as the day progressed, the two managed to ascend to the top of the pack by conquering every last word on the list, easily blowing through 47 rounds of spelling excellence. In an effort to crown a winner, those conducting the spelling bee nabbed 20 additional words from the dictionary, where the cerebral duo easily devoured the challenge. Ultimately, the beefficials (a made up word, which I acknowledge is risky in a spelling related blog) called it a day, claiming that they would have to regroup at a later date.
Well, you can imagine what happened when the media took hold of this feel-good story. Local and national reporters and talk show hosts plunged their teeth into the charming tale of adolescent mastery. That's how I first learned of Sophia and Kush. The team from Good Morning America told the story, followed by collectively chanting "send them both" to the powers that be at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Turns out, the beefficials seem to be holding firm with the one and done rule (another fictitious bee term), refusing to allow the tie, which would translate to both competitors attending the coveted national stage.
As the public learned of this uplifting story, the matter quickly found its way to the familiar world of social media. A hashtag was developed and the rest is history. A virtual outcry to #sendthemboth from Americans near and far.
A subsequent contest has been scheduled for March 8th to make a second attempt at establishing a winner. Although, this writer agrees with the good folks at GMA. I say SEND THEM BOTH. Standing with me is my Labradoodle, Vivian, who has proudly emerged as the canine representative to influence the beefficials to send them both to Washington DC to compete against this country's most gifted spellers.
If you agree that both of these hardworking students should have the privilege of attending the national spelling bee, Tweet your support to #sendthemboth.