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Bianca Massiah of Providence Elementary made history this past  Friday , when she spelt her way to be  declared champion of the first ever ICBL National Junior Spelling Bee Finals amidst cheers and thunderous applause of a supportive and responsive audience.

Forty-two (42) students ranging in age from nine to eleven years old from public and private primary schools island wide competed at Sandals Royal Barbados in the riveting final which was witnessed by a packed ballroom of parents, teachers and supporting students from all the qualified schools.

In his opening remarks, CEO of ICBL Geoff Scott said: “The ICBL Junior Spelling Bee was born out of the desire to positively influence the culture of reading in our youth. At ICBL, youth development is a key strategic pillar that we remain invested in. We recognize the importance of preparing our youth with a competitive advantage and enhancing their reading capacity goes a long way to achieving that. Starting at the primary level, gives us the opportunity to make a meaningful impact at the earliest stage”.

Scott continued:  I am encouraged that so much of Corporate Barbados has joined us on this journey. I say journey because this is just the beginning. The ICBL Junior Spelling Bee will be a staple on our calendar as we are committed to making a difference”.

The competition received positive feedback from corporate Barbados with over 25 partners joining ICBL to award the participants with several attractive prizes.

The ICBL Junior Spelling Bee Champion received an engraved, personal trophy along with a slew of impressive prizes, which included $2500 in total cash; two tickets to the UK on Virgin Airways; a tablet; $750 in products from AOne Supermarkets; a book voucher and a Haliborange Kid’s Health Pack.

Senator Dr. Romel Springer Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training was on hand to present the Championship Trophy as well as the plaque to the winning school, Providence Primary School. Additionally, the school will receive $5000 in cash from ICBL and a laser jet printer from Promotech.

A confident Jonathan Broome of The Rock Christian Primary School placed 2nd on the evening, earning himself over $1000 in cash and prizes and a staycation at Divi Southwinds thanks to Capital Media HD 99.3.

In a nail biting showdown between Luke McIntyre of St. Gabriel’s and Mekhi Osei of Bay Primary, Osei misspelled his word of “souvenir” leaving the path clear for McIntyre to successfully spell “circuit” and earn over $750 in cash and prizes.

In a moving turn of events, CEO Scott awarded 4th placed Osei with a $500 cash prize much to the delight of all in attendance.  

All 82 contestants of the 2019 ICBL National Junior Spelling Bee received certificates of participation and individual medals, which were presented by Chief Operating Officer Oliver Jordan and Chief Underwriting Officer Mr. Goulbourne Alleyne.