Morgan Village Apartments have had two proud winners of the Better Tomorrows/Michaels Spelling Bee Competition in back to back years, that being 2018 and 2019, and in two different age categories, 8-10 yrs and 11-14 yrs, I have firsthand knowledge about how a Spelling Bee can impact not just the children but the family they belong to as a whole.
Casahni Ward and Hisiene Byrd, who also happened to be siblings, were very enthusiastic to be invited ever since that first year they entered. I of course spoke to their mother first, who expressed supreme confidence that they would do well. I had known both of the siblings from the Better Tomorrows Summer Youth Program. Although the Summer Program has a structured curriculum where both fun and education are joined to build upon a child’s confidence and scholastic aptitude in a fun way, I don’t think I had seen from the two siblings the combination of focus, determination, intensity, collaborative energy, that I had seen building up to those Spelling Bee finals. They not only worked together with me in practices but their mother proudly stated to me that they continually helped each other practice at home. I saw genuine interest in each other’s successes. The father of the children, was also looking forward to the finals, as both parents, came together to root for the children they both loved. This seem to unify the family even more. There was a oneness in this ultimate goal to win this competition.
Each of the competitors, including the winners, were striving to represent their families and their community, Camden.
It ultimately brought out from all involved beautiful building blocks for future successes.