This year, 33 students in Massachusetts are moving forward to the 37th Annual Daily Item Regional Spelling Bee.
One of the contestants will be Logan Wild, a fifth-grader at Marblehead Community Charter Public School. Logan has enjoyed reading since he spontaneously started reading a book at the age of three.
“I thought that he had a photographic memory and, assuming we had read the book, at three and a half a photographic memory would be able to regurgitate it back without really reading,” said Logan’s father, Victor Wild. “But then we took a book that he hadn’t read yet, turned to a random page, and asked him if he could read that, and he did.”
At only 10 years of age, Logan plays three different sports – baseball, tennis, and taekwondo, in which he has earned an advanced red belt. He plays the guitar, piano, and trumpet, and enjoys video games. All of this is in addition to being a voracious reader.
“Logan will read anything he can get his hands on and once he starts reading, he gets very absorbed to the point that he tunes out,” said Victor. “He doesn’t know that we are speaking to him or asking him things, even asking him to stop and eat dinner.”
Kemy Lorime, a sixth-grader at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Lynn, is also preparing to win the regionals competition. For Lorime, it’s all about having a positive mindset.
Lorime’s mother, Alexandra Acevedo, said she tried to explore his strengths when Lorime was about three-years-old. She realized that his strength wasn’t math, but he had the ability to understand and retain words fairly quickly.
Acevedo is always challenging Lorime with pop quizzes, and is amazed at his ability to spell words and read.
“I have a lot of confidence in Kemy,” Acevedo said.
Stone Robinson, a fourth-grader at Hadley Elementary School in Swampscott, also reads extensively. He reads a lot of older children’s chapter books, and his father said his ability to photographically retain information is also impressive.
Stone said he is usually one of the first to finish his assignments in class. His mother, Katherine Mikk, said she is still very nervous about the fact that Stone is only a fourth-grader, competing against different grade levels up to eighth grade.
“I think he reads a lot and kind of has that photographic memory of those letters in that order,” said his father, Daniel Robinson. “I don’t necessarily know that he knows every word that he spells mean.”
30 other contestants in Massachusetts qualified to the Regional Spelling Bee, which will be held March 21 at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. They will have the chance to compete and advance to the national competition that will start May 28.
The Bee Week will take place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C. from May 28 through June 2, where students will compete against about 200 other spellers around the world. The national competition will begin with the preliminaries on Tuesday, May 30, and conclude with the finals on Thursday, June 1.