Help Expel Illiteracy at Spell-A-Round

6 percent of the 18-plus population have less than a ninth grade education

By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Education | Issue: April 2009

Here are a few surprising statistics about Creek County: 6 percent of the 18-plus population have less than a ninth grade education, and 23 percent have less than a high school education. The National Institute for Literacy’s Adult Literacy Survey estimates that 16 percent of Creek County residents are at Level 1, the lowest level of literacy, in which they are unable to perform such tasks as locating an intersection on a map, calculating the total cost of purchases on an order form, or identifying and entering information on an application.

Children whose parents can’t read are twice as likely as their peers to grow up functionally illiterate, and 80 percent of juvenile offenders lack basic literacy skills. On average, an illiterate adult earns 42 percent less income than a high school graduate. Forty-three percent of people with the lowest illiteracy skills live in poverty.

The Creek County Literacy Program (CCLP), soon to celebrate its 20th anniversary, is a non-profit organization devoted to eliminating local illiteracy. They work to fulfill their mission by providing free reading instruction to functionally illiterate adults who live or work in Creek County, preparing families to take part in the education of their children, tutoring children and youth who are diverse learners, and providing reading improvement programs county-wide.

A few of the specific programs CCLP offers include a reading and mentoring program for children in kindergarten through second grade, an after-school reading and drama program for children in third through twelfth grade, GED preparation for adults, family health and literacy fun nights, and free book distribution for disadvantaged children.

So that they can continue to offer these valuable services to the community, CCLP is hosting its 11th annual Spell-A-Round Creek County spelling bee. This year’s theme is “Born to ‘BEE’ Wild…It’s a Jungle Out There!” This exciting fundraising event will take place Saturday, April 18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Freddie’s BBQ & Steakhouse, located at 1425 New Sapulpa Road in Sapulpa.

Spell-A-Round Creek County is a fun, competitive spelling bee designed especially for businesses, civic and church groups, schools, and other organizations. Teams of three confer on the spelling of a given word before offering their answer, and spouses, guests and friends are encouraged to cheer on their favorite team. A silent auction is also a part of the evening’s activities. The auction opens at 5:45 p.m. and will feature a variety of fantastic items, including gift baskets, one-of-a-kind homemade items, toys and more.

“Spell-A-Round is an evening of fun, food and competition, and is vital to the success of CCLP,” says Executive Director Barbara Belk. To become a part of the event, gather up a team (a maximum of three per team) from your company, church, school, club, family or group of friends, and join in the fun. Multiple teams are encouraged! All winners receive trophies, and the coveted Grand Champion traveling trophy will be presented to the top team. Also, the rowdiest and most fun-loving team will receive a Team Spirit award.

Once a team pays the entry fee, a word list is sent to the team captain. Over 90 percent of the words for the competition are taken from this word list, so study it hard!

Teams are seated together and given a small marker board. The judge gives the same word to all teams, who are then given 30 seconds to confer and spell the word. The team writes the word on the marker board and gives the board to the monitor. One point for each correct letter is awarded. Once a wrong letter is written, the rest of the letters of the word do not count for points. After an allotted number of words are given, points are tallied and the top three teams advance to the traditional Ultimate Stinger Round. Mulligans, or the option to skip a word, may be purchased prior to the start of the spelling bee.

The annual Spell-A-Round Creek County is a wonderful event that benefits a great cause in the community. Call (918) 224-9647 to find out more.

For more information, contact
Creek County
Literacy Program
15 North Poplar
Sapulpa, OK 74066
(918) 224-9647 

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About Author Sheryl Sowell

Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.

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