Back-to-School Expo features spelling bee

Spelling smarties go head-to-head

The Brooklyn Paper
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A great smile: Face painters at the expo transformed Michael Duncan of Crown Heights into Spider-Man.
Two and a half men: DJs Joe and Larry Scott of “Havin’ A Party” were joined by a fuzzy creature at the event.
Spelling skills: Trey Gardner, 11, of Bensonhurst came in third in the 11 to 12 age bracket of Saturday’s spelling bee.
Bee smart: Canarsie’s Evelea Prescott, 11, came in first in the 11 to 12 age bracket.

Forget two strikes — you make one mistake in this spelling bee and you’re out.

Kids ages 9 to 12 participating in Community Newspaper Group’s Brooklyn Bee at Kings Plaza’s Back-to-School Expo were so good at putting letters together, judges had to nix their plan of giving the children an extra chance to win so they can get home before supper time!

“When they started, the kids had to spell two words wrong to get out, but they did so well the judges had to change the rules to one and out,” said Maricel Torres, whose son Trey came in third in the older age bracket.

But the kids wouldn’t relent as they spelled their hearts out — no matter how hard the word was, according to Courier Deputy Editor Thomas Tracy, who kept score.

“The kids did a great job,” Tracy said. “I could have hired some of them as copy editors.”

Winners of the spelling contest received prizes from Panera Bread that included — what else — a year’s supply of free bread.

All participants received tickets to the Gazillion Bubbles theater performance, in addition to some nifty New York Post hats.

The Back-to-School Expo featured more than the spelling bee, however.

Parents had the opportunity to meet a number of vendors that offered everything from backpacks to after-school activities like martial arts and dancing.

“They were up on stage performing to show what the kids would learn,” Torres said. “I thought that was nice.”

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 5:35 pm, July 9, 2018
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