Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 7, 2014

Tazewell County elementary school students compete in annual reading bee

BLUEFIELD,Va. — Tazewell County students tested their wits Tuesday when they took what they read in two books — one concerning the American Revolution and another about an 18th Century boy living among native Americans — and demonstrated what they learned from the stories.

Teams of fourth and fifth grade students met at Bluefield College to compete in a variety of contests testing their reading skills. Each of the students read the books “George Vs. George” by Rosalyn Schanzer and “The Sign of the Beaver” by Elizabeth George Speare, said fifth grade student Gray Queen of Cedar Bluff Elementary.

The cafeteria in Shott Hall was filled with excited chatter as the students ate their pizza lunch and waited while the judges weighed the results of the contests.

“We had comprehension, spelling and vocabulary, and impromptu, too. And editing,” said fourth grade student Emily Gravley of North Tazewell Elementary. “I think the hardest was the editing.”

Abigail Whittaker, fifth grade Tazewell Elementary student, said the spelling and vocabulary competition was the most difficult. She compared the contest to being in a  spelling bee. The students had to remember the spelling and definition of words such as “embroidery” and “grievance,” she said.

“I think it was probably the vocabulary for me,” fourth grader Payton Rice of Graham Intermediate said. “Some of the words were very hard.”

“My favorite part was the impromptu,” said his teammate, London Setser.

The impromptu competition calls for the students to image what would happen in each of the two books they read if the plots were changed in any way. Graham Intermediate fourth grader McKenzie Cheynet thought the spelling and vocabulary was a difficult contest, but the comprehension competition was the easiest.

Each student was presented with a certificate and copy of either “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss and “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” by Shel Silverstein. One goal of the competition, created by the late Executive Editor Tom Colley of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, is to foster a love of reading.

“It encourages reading,” said Kathleen Osborne of gifted resources with Tazewell County Schools. “All of these teams practice all year and work together as a group.”

Marc Meachum, president of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, said the reading bee’s supporters appreciated the school system’s teachers and students for participating.

“This is one of the most anticipated events for the year for us,” Meachum said. “To see the excitement on the faces of the children, the students, makes this worthwhile.”

The following awards were presented to the fourth grade teams:

• Vocabulary and spelling: Third place went to Graham Intermediate School, second place to Tazewell Elementary, and first place to Richlands Elementary School.

• Comprehension : Third place went to Raven Elementary, second place to Richlands Elementary, and first place was awarded to North Tazewell Elementary.

• Editing : Third place went to Tazewell Elementary, second place to Richlands Elementary, and first place was awarded to Cedar Bluff Elementary.

• Impromptu: Third place went to Richlands Elementary School; second place to Abbs Valley Elementary, and first place was awarded to Graham Intermediate School.

The overall fourth grade winner was Richlands Elementary School with students Kara Boyd, Spencer Brown, Gillian Guerriero, and Drew Simmons. Their coach was Pam Horn.

The following awards were presented to the fifth grade teams:

• Vocabulary and spelling: Third place went to Springville Elementary School, second place to Graham Intermediate, and first place was awarded to Richlands Elementary.

• Comprehension: Third place went to Graham Intermediate, second place to Richlands Elementary, and first place was awarded to Tazewell Elementary.

• Editing: Third place went to Tazewell Elementary, second place to Richlands Elementary, and first place was awarded to Graham Intermediate School.

• Impromptu : Third place went to North Tazewell Elementary, second place to Cedar Bluff Elementary, and first place was awarded to Tazewell Elementary School.

The overall fifth grade winner was Tazewell Elementary School with students Campbell Hunter, Margaret Ridlehuber, Madison Vanover, and Abby Whittaker. Their coach was Vivian Saunders.

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