A Spanish spelling test

Willow Vohs absentmindely chews at the end of her "lifelines," while waiting for other children to finish their turns.

The Purple School held a Spanish Language Bee at St. Joseph’s Church last night.

Students plied their knowledge of Spanish across multiple categories to win money and gift cards donated by local businesses.

“We’re going to say the questions in Spanish and get the answers in English,” said Silvia Zubke, the event judge. Zubke is a native of Bogota, Columbia, and moved to America about nine years ago. Her English is impeccable.

She works informally as an instructor for the school’s Spanish program.

Children were shown an item on the board, read the name of the item in English and expected to give an answer in Spanish. The categories included basic conversational dialogue, colors, kitchen items, verbs and animals.

Children had three popsicle-stick-like “lifelines,” which gave them three chances to save themselves after getting a question wrong or passing.

“It’s always good exposure,” Zubke said, referring to the benefits of learning a second language at an early age.  “Knowing different languages opens doors. They feel more empowered to learn and explore the world.”

Participants included Elena Barrera, Tommy Good, Emma Nadolny Shui, Bella Carter, Isabella Heen, Willow Vohs, Tony Chen, Avery Krenz, Sophie Walch, Jason Chen, Katelyn Ragsdale, Molly Walch, Matthew Degoey and Julia Nadolny Shui.

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