Local students named finalists in Spellebrity Video Contest

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After three weeks of public voting, a team of Santa Clarita students from Rio Norte Junior High School and Tesoro Del Valle Elementary School were named finalists in the Scripps National Spelling Bee’s 2017 Spellebrity Video Contest.

The public video contest encouraged students from around the country to produce their own original videos that promoted a love of reading and lifelong learning.

As one of five finalists, the Bigham Yago team of Emily Yago, 12, Khara Bigham, 13, and Lily Bigham, 10, will receive an expenses-paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. and “Bee Week” from May 29 to June 2.

This expenses-paid trip includes economy airfare, a $400 gift card for travel and meal expenses, a five night stay at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.  They also will receive a Kindle Paperwhite and complimentary tickets to the Memorial Day picnic at Nationals Park, a Bee-organized tour of Washington, D.C. and the Awards Banquet.

The team will join the four other finalist teams from Chandler, Ariz.; Lawrence, Kan.; Oneonta, N.Y.; and Cedar Park, Texas at the contest premiere and national finals at the end of May.

“The entries for this year were once again a delight,” said Paige Kimble, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in a press release. “We see this contest as another way to recognize the power of reading to improve lives.  We appreciate the effort and so do the thousands of fans who voted to give these students an opportunity to experience all that is memorable and inspiring about Bee Week.”

The Bigham Yago team made it to the semifinals and the finals for its video titled “The Tale of the Indolent Sister.”

In the video, two sisters choose to put their phones down and have an adventure on a boring Sunday.  The girls learn the words “indolent,” “residence” and “extravagant” as they enter new worlds as witches, pirates, fairies, mermaids and chefs.

“The message that the contest is putting is out is that reading is very important and I agree with that,” Yago, a seventh grade student at Rio Norte, told the Signal March 9.  “Reading is important to learn new words, exercise your mind and to enter new world.”

During Bee Week, participants in the Spelling Bee will have a chance to view and vote on the videos to select the championship winner.

Team members from the championship team will each receive a $1,000 cash prize and a Spellebrity trophy.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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