“We get money so we can buy books and support activities in the Clark County community that promote literacy,” she said.
The group also raises money to buy stuffed teddy bears to hand out to children stuck in the middle of emergencies who are being tended to by police officers or firefighters, Justice said.
Tutoring and other services that promote reading are needed in the county, Justice said.
“Clark County, unfortunately, has a very low rate for literacy,” she said. “So our program tries to reduce the number of people who cannot read or write. There are a number of adults who cannot read to their children.”
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A room full of people cheered on the spellers Tuesday. Justice said it’s clear the community backs their program.
And while the competition is fierce, a lot of fun was had. A woman dressed as a bee ran around the room popping the balloons of contestants who misspelled a word.
The Springfield News-Sun team consisted of Editor Sharon Wilmore and reporters Jenna Lawson and Matt Sanctis. The newspaper team was ousted in the third round on the word polysyllabic.
The final amount raised was still being counted, but in the past the event has raised between $5,000 to $15,000, Justice said.
Watch the Springfield News-Sun team try to spell the word “polysyllabic” on reporter Parker Perry’s Facebook page. Search for “Parker Perry — Springfield News-Sun.” While you’re there, like his page for all the latest crime and education news.