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Heritage selects three fifth-graders to compete at Lansing Area Spelling Bee

LANSING, Ill. (March 11, 2024) – Heritage Middle School held its fifth-grade spelling bee on March 8 where three students were chosen to represent the school at the upcoming annual Lansing Area Spelling Bee.

The 10 top spellers were chosen out of over 100 fifth graders at Heritage.

“They did extremely well,” said Dr. Brittany Hoskin, spelling bee organizer and fifth-grade reading teacher at Heritage Middle School.

Heritage fifth-grade spelling bee

Dr. Hoskin says the fifth graders spent time during reading class coaching each other and preparing for the preliminary portion of the spelling bee.

There are five fifth-grade classes at the school and each class participated in a preliminary spelling bee. The top two spellers were chosen from each class to compete in Heritage’s official fifth-grade spelling bee on March 8.

Dr. Hoskin chose a group of students to pick out 100 words to be used in the spelling bee.

“The fifth-grade spelling list is a standard list of words that all fifth graders should know,” said Dr. Hoskins. “I had students study that list.”

The spelling bee was organized and hosted by Heritages’s fifth-grade reading teacher, Dr. Brittany Hoskin. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

Nine students participated in the competition, and the fifth-grade classes were invited to watch their peers compete against one another in Friday’s event.

The event started with Dr. Hoskin stating the official rules to the spellers. Once a student spelled a word incorrectly, he or she was disqualified from the competition. The spellers were also allowed to ask for the definition of a word before spelling it out.

Dr. Hoskin gave each student a word to spell during the competition. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

Fifth-grade Spelling Bee champions

Ka’Don Franklin spelled every word correctly, including the very last word in the competition — “animation” — earning him first place in the bee.

Gia DiSilvestro was awarded second place, and Cyan Bramlett came in third place.

From left: Third-place winner Cyan Bramlett, first-place winner Ka’Don Franklin, and second-place winner Gia DiSilvestro will be representing Heritage at the Lansing Area Spelling Bee at Coolidge Elementary on March 14. (Photo: Kinise Jordan)

“Public speaking is hard for some adults but the earlier you do it, the more you do it, the better you get at it,” said Dr. Hoskin. “The students are incredibly brave to be able to do it, and they made me so proud to be their teacher.”

Franklin, DiSilvestro, and Bramlett will represent Heritage Middle at the upcoming Lansing Area Spelling Bee on March 14 at Coolidge Elementary School.

Heritage Principal Chantelle Cambric and Dr. Hoskin encouraged the other fifth graders to come to support their peers at the Lansing Spelling Bee as they wrapped up the event.

“We would love to see you guys there,” said Principal Cambric.

Heritage Middle School is located at 19250 Burnham Avenue and Calvin Coolidge Elementary School is located at 17845 Henry Street in Lansing.


Note: The AP Stylebook changed its guidance on when hyphenation is appropriate in usage such as “fifth grade” and “fifth-grade students.” The Lansing Journal feels the new rules create unnecessary confusion, and we prefer to rely on the practice of hyphenating compound adjectives. That is, when two words — “fifth grade” — describe another noun — such as “student” — they become a single adjective and are hyphenated. We tried to employ that practice consistently throughout the above story, though we admit there were times when judgement calls were made.

Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan brings local experience and a long list of journalism skills to her work with The Lansing Journal. She understands the need for reliable, factual information in equipping people to build community. An Audio News internship with WBEZ honed her interviewing skills and her sense of timing and deadlines. A native of Calumet City, Kinise is familiar with the interplay of local government, local schools, and local businesses.