BRIGHTON — The Culture staff at Pemayetv Emahakv held the annual Creek Spelling Bee to help install the traditional language in youth.
Prior to the March 20 event, students in second through eighth grades competed in individual class Creek spelling bees to identify top students from each grade. The winners advanced to the final competition.
The Creek bee emulates a traditional spelling bee in its execution; students are given a word by the proctor, and then they must say the word, spell it and say the word again.
Native Creek speakers Jenny Shore and Ginger Jones served as judges and monitored the correct spelling of each word. The Judges monitored the spellings very closely because the Creek language is not written phonetically.
Many students had mastered a solid foundation of the Creek alphabet that most spelled the words accurately and spoke them fluently.
The winners were: First place, seventh-grader Aiyana Tommie; second place, sixth-grader Raeley Matthews; and third place, fourth-grader Heath Lawrence. A parent/teacher Creek Spelling Bee was also held following the student spelling bee. The first-place winner was Myra Gopher and the second-place winner was Heather Dobbs.