LONG ISLAND CITY – The students of St. Demetrios Greek Afternoon School in Astoria visited the offices of The National Herald to compete in the finals of their Greek Spelling Bee on May 4. The tense competition included the top spellers among the students from the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades who had to study 100 Greek words and compete in two phases. After the first phase of the competition, the top 10 were selected to continue on into the final phase.
All the contestants received a certificate of merit for their participation while the top three received a financial prize as well.
The first prize, $500 was donated by Dr. George Tsioulias, the second $250 prize by Mr. George Kitsios, and the third $200 prize by Prof. Frederica Sagiani. Dr. Tsioulias and Sagiani attended the event and handed out the prizes to the winners.
The pupils did their best in the tough competition, and when the 100 words they had studied ran out, they continued the spelling bee with unknown words.
The students were accompanied by St. Demetrios Greek Afternoon School Principal Angeliki Agka and the teachers Chrysa Kokolis and Anna Dogias.
The proud parents were also in attendance, watching intently as their children competed and were then awarded for their efforts.
At the end of the competition, the awards were presented by the sponsors as well as the participation certificates. The students left with their heads held high, proud of their success but also their knowledge of the Greek language, knowing very well that the historical spelling of the Greek words and words in every language, is part of the cultural heritage.
The ten students who participated in the final phase of the competition were:
The winners of the competition were: 1st Zacharoula Giannopoulos, 2nd Alexandros Bouzalas, and 3rd Stamatia Tsamblakou.
Principal Angeliki Agka thanked The National Herald for hosting and supporting the spelling bee and the students’ efforts. She also thanked the sponsors of this year’s awards Dr. Tsioulias, Mr. Kitsios and Mrs. Sagiani and hopes that this effort will become an annual event and an institution with the participation of students from all the Greek schools in the area.