CDA Jones Attends U.S. Embassy-Sponsored Spelling Bee Competition for Lebanese Students

On April 23, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Ambassador Richard H. Jones presided over the final round of the U.S. Embassy-funded “Bee A Good Citizen” spelling bee competition.  Twenty-one students from grades 7 and 8 participated in today’s final competition at the Baakline National Library, which determined the national winners and regional winners for the Bekaa and the Chouf.  Organized in partnership with USPEaK, the spelling bee brings together young students to compete in spelling words in English that promote good citizenship, democracy, tolerance, co-existence, and environmental stewardship.

This is the second year the U.S. Embassy has sponsored the spelling bee program in order to support English language learning in Lebanon.  More than 1,100 students from 20 public and private schools in the Bekaa and Mount Lebanon (Aley-Chouf) participated in preliminary competitions within their schools during the course of the school year, while 200 students participated in the regional competitions at the U.S. Embassy’s American Corners in Baakline and Zahleh in March and April.

In his opening remarks, CDA Jones noted that “the U.S. Embassy’s spelling bee competition is about more than just spelling words. As its slogan ‘Bee A Good Citizen’ indicates, it is also about what those words mean. The words selected focus on values critical to building a better future for all of us, including vocabulary related to citizenship, democracy, tolerance, coexistence, and environmental stewardship. It gives me and my colleagues in the Embassy much hope to see this young generation and the vast majority of Lebanese embracing these principles that are important across the world, no matter what language is spoken. They are the principles of those who wish to create just societies and build upon the strong Lebanese belief in the value of education, mutual understanding, and respect. Lebanon and the United States share these values, and this spelling bee is just one example of the partnership between Lebanon and America to promote and strengthen them. ”

The American Corners are partnerships between the Public Diplomacy section of U.S. Embassy Beirut and local institutions. In addition to books and resources about the U.S., American Corners host a wide array of programs including speaking events, book readings, movie screenings, workshops and activities for the local community.

For more details about Spelling Bee Lebanon 2016, please visit:https://www.facebook.com/Lebanon.spellingbee