The Maria Regina Grade School in Port of Spain has won the Trinidad Express Newspapers National Word Championship.
The school yesterday received a $20,000 prize for placing first in the spelling competition.
Member of the board of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Commission for UNESCO and Maria Regina Grade School principal Elizabeth Crouch said she was optimistic that, with proper focus, the country could see a positive literacy turnaround in the 21st century.
She said literacy initiatives like national school spelling bee competitions were effective initiatives toward recouping the country’s lost generation and could boost literacy.
Crouch was speaking during the National Word Championship awards ceremony at the Courtyard by Marriott in Port of Spain yesterday.
“The spelling bee is a brilliant initiative. I am very pleased that these young people have become wordsmiths. They have grasped at the opportunity to understand language and become better literate citizens for T&T. Generally, I think that there is a focus on literacy in the country and that there is a focus which places it squarely with young children. I think that T&T will see a turnaround in the literacy level that we want for the 21st century,” she said.
“I think that the children were ready. They worked hard and there was no question that the standard was very high. I think that this is a great part of the literacy initiative.”
Caribbean Communications Network (CCN) group marketing manager Marcus Chin-Aleong said the primary objective of supporting literacy through the spelling competition was providing children with a positive avenue to learn in a challenging, fun and interactive forum which encouraged sportsmanship and team-building skills.
The competition was organised by the Trinidad Express Newspapers, a subsidiary of Caribbean Communications Network (CCN), while sponsors of prizes were First Citizens, Colfire and KFC.
District winners were Maria Regina Grade School (Port of Spain); Tacarigua Presbyterian Primary (St George East); Guaico Presbyterian Primary (North Eastern); Todd’s Road RC Primary (Caroni); Tortuga Government Primary (Victoria); Avocat Vedic Primary (St Patrick); Jordan Hill Presbyterian (South Eastern) and Black Rock Government Primary (Tobago).