Boston–A crowd of family members, teachers and friends were on hand today to congratulate 22 Boston youth from across the City competing in Boston’s tenth annual Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) Citywide Spelling Bee at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. Organized by BCYF, the City of Boston’s largest youth and human service agency, and sponsored by the Boston Bruins Foundation, the winner will now go on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May.
“We are very proud of you all and honored to be hosting the Bee for the tenth year in a row,” said William Morales, Commissioner of BCYF. “Thank you to our longtime sponsor, the Boston Bruins Foundation, for supporting the BCYF Bee each year and giving us a chance to show off Boston’s talented youth.”
Over 3,000 young people participated in Boston public and parochial school Bees to qualify for the BCYF Citywide Bee. The preparation for the school Bees helps young people improve their spelling, broaden their vocabulary and build self-confidence.
Commissioner Morales opened the speaking program and Dan Koh, Chief of Staff for the City of Boston, welcomed the spellers and their families and presented each speller with a participation medal. The judges this year were Liz Kurkjian-Henry, Boston Public Schools Retired Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf, Scot Colford Online and Web Services Manager at the Boston Public Library and Chief Koh. It was an exciting, suspenseful event with cheers (and some tears) from the audience and participants.
To honor the Bee’s tenth anniversary, winners from past years were invited back and a plaque was created to hang at BCYF’s Administrative Office which will include the names of all the past and future Spelling Bee winners.
The winner of this year’s Bee was Farah Raslan-Haniff, age 9, from Allston who won by spelling “cacophony” correctly. The second place finisher was Mira Yu, age 11, from the North End and coming in third was Sylvia O’Hearn, age 11, from East Boston. The Bee went 14 rounds plus 13 final rounds before the Championship Round.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running spelling bee. School children from all over the country converge on Washington D.C. every May to compete in the National Bee. The one and only winner from Massachusetts was in 1939. In addition to an all-expenses paid trip to the National Bee, the BCYF Spelling Bee winner received a dictionary, a $100 savings bond, and a trophy. Second place and third place finishers received Barnes and Noble gift cards and trophies.
Boston Latin School
Brooke Charter School-Mattapan
Hub Homeschool Group
Kennedy Patrick Elementary
Our Lady Perpetual Help Mission Grammar
St. John School
Farah Raslan Haniff
Winning words from the previous nine years of the Bee:
About Boston Centers for Youth and Families
Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) is the City of Boston’s largest youth and human service agency. BCYF operates 36 community centers in Boston that offer a variety of engaging and enriching programs for people of all ages created through community input and need. BCYF also oversees many citywide programs including the nationally-recognized violence intervention and prevention Streetworker Program and SuccessLink, Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program
Public Information Manager
Boston Centers for Youth & Families
1483 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02120
617-635-4920 x2213 (w), 617-635-4524 (f)
Every Neighborhood, One Mission
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Photo, left to right, first, second and third place winners.