Interstate Realty Management's 10th Annual Spelling Competition for the young residents of its Philadelphia affordable housing communities was held at 8 Diamonds Apartment Homes on Saturday, December 3. Sponsored by IRM's supportive services partner, Better Tomorrows, the finals drew winners from each individual apartment community to compete against each other.
"The students were enthusiastic and observed good sportsmanship through out the entire event. A good time was had by all in attendance while watching all of the local spelling bee champions participate in the Finals," said Bruce Johnson, Ph.D, a member of Better Tomorrow's Board of Directors who served as a judge for the competition.
Students competed in two age groupings (8-10 & 11-14). The competition got underway with the older students and after many rounds Tyrone Smith of West Poplar Apartments prevailed as the first place finisher with Dasia Simms from Courtyard At Riverview as the second place finisher.
The younger group featured an intense back and forth among the final two participants that lasted over 15 rounds before Michael Moore of Jackie's Garden emerged as the winner. Zakiyyah Bilal of Haddington Townhouses finished second.
Other participants represented Chester Apartments, 8 Diamonds Townhouses, Kensington Townhouses and Wister Townhouses.
The first place winner in each age group received a $100 gift card and the second place finisher received a $50 giftcard. All participants received a personalized Finalist Certificate and their choice of one of three children's reference book titles. Better Tomorrow's Director of Program Development and Evaluation, Graceanne McGinnis, Better Tomorrow's associate director of programs, emceed the festivities, while Sarins Chernock and Annie Foster, Better Tomorrows' Director of Program Development and Evaluation and Director of Community Impact, respectively, served with Dr. Johnson as as judges for the competition.