The Spelling Bee is a programme formed from a partnership between the Jozi Book Fair (JBF) and the Citizenship and Community Outreach Office from Wits University. It involves schools and has also features orphan and vulnerable centres. Young learners take part in a competition which is meant to test their memory and learning, but to also in line with both Tsohang Batjha and Khanya College’s JBF, the Spelling Bee promotes literacy and reading among youth that are in primary schools.
The spelling bee normally takes place on Thursdays and Fridays of Jozi Book Fair (with the weekend open to the public), in the opening two days of the 4-day Fair, however this year the event will take place on the 16th of August at Museum Africa, Newtown, Johanneburg. Learners will recite the spellings of different words which they are given by organisers who are working in the Jozi Book Fair project.
The competition is not only important for helping primary scholars expand their vocabulary but it also helps to put in place a reading culture. This year’s edition will see eighty five learners from seventeen schools take part. Each school has five participants and one extra learner who is on standby. The majority of these schools are from around the Johannesburg area and probably only receive the opportunity to participate as their only one as there are not many programmes which are tailored for working class neighbourhood schools.
There will be prizes which the three winning participants who will receive their prizes at the Jozi Book Fair taking place from 29 August – 01 September 2019. All participants will be given certificates for being part of the competition.
Wits will bring sixteen volunteers who will assist with running the programme. Khanya College will provide catering and tee-shirts to participants.