Learning through failure

We’ve been involved in all seven of the Literacy Cooperative’s spelling bee as advisors, producer of video reels, producer of two innovative virtual spelling bees (necessitated by the pandemic), and in 2022, as a contestant.

Words are pronounced by the great broadcast talent Mike Snyder, definition given, used in a sentence, then 15 seconds to spell. Hold up the word, judge gives thumbs up or down. Miss two words and you’re out.

The Act 3 team, full of confidence at the beginning of the evening, participated in exactly. . .two words. Two strikes and we’re the first team eliminated.

Upset? A bit. Embarrassed? More than a bit. Educated? Much more than a bit, in three ways. One, how to (correctly) spell the words “filibuster” and ”impresario.” Two, how to be gracious and smiling losers (NOTE: not so easy). Three, how to empathize how difficult it is for those with low-literacy skills.

Losing a contest? Not a big deal. Struggling to find and keep employment, read a menu, read a government document, select a greeting cared, help out your children with homework? Unimaginable, struggling in silence and shame.

So, here’s to all those who advance the literacy of children and adults. When you can read confidently and well, the world – and spelling bees – are so much better.

Latest Posts

Saints Marching In

Saints Marching In

Evoking the Creole classic, the triumphant, trumpet heavy “When the Saints Go Marching In” is the revered anthem for the city of New Orleans. How appropriate to invoke that song as scary Halloween transitions to All Saints Day then All Souls Day, and Act 3 reflects on its work in helping some “Saints.”

From Woodstock to the Supreme Court

From Woodstock to the Supreme Court

Terry Gilbert has been an activist and an attorney through fifty years of trying times. From aiding Native Americans at Wounded Knee when he was fresh out of law school, to filing one of the earliest cases in the Chief Wahoo controversy…