America Agis, 13, has consistently been one of the best competitors in the District’s Spanish Spelling Bee since she was in the third grade. But now, her little sister, Frida, 10, is out to prove a point. Both Agis sisters will compete in the National Spanish Spelling Bee in El Paso, Texas in late July. Frida, a 5th grader with an outgoing personality, says she’s ready. “I’ve gotta beat my sister. I just have to,” Frida said with a smile while hugging America. The more reserved America is an 8th grade student at Losoya Middle School. Frida attends Gallardo Elementary. Both are the District and regional champions in their age divisions. Now, they’ll face off for the national title. America says preparing for the national title is a family affair. “My mother says a word to me and I spell it out. If I get it wrong, she makes me write it out then memorize it while looking for new strategies to help remember the word,” she said. Both girls are academic stars in school. For their summer vacation they’ll spend the months of June and July preparing for the national event. The National Spanish Spelling Bee website lists a host of benefits which go far beyond spelling.
- Promotes literacy.
- Provides children with a positive goal to work toward.
- Gives them a purpose for reading.
- Provides a performance-forum to display the fruits of their hard work.
- Aids children in learning concepts, improving comprehension and developing study skills.
- Helps develop self-confidence, communication and public speaking skills, and the ability to thrive under pressure.
For America and Frida Agis it will be an experience of a lifetime.