The Kids News Spelling Bee will be the biggest of its kind in Australia.
This free event will be open to all Australian schools for students from Grades 3 to Year 8. It will launch in the second half of this year.
The Kids News Spelling Bee will feature school-level competitions to determine class and school champions. Names of every school winner will be published in News Corp papers around Australia.
Kids News publisher Toni Hetherington said the spelling bee was a quality addition to kidsnews.com.au, which improves children’s literacy through daily, relevant news articles in child-appropriate language on a safe, isolated site.
“We are working with teachers on the ideal format for the spelling bee and know it will be a fun way to boost students’ love of words,” she said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for spelling and literacy improvement to be a national priority for parents and children and says the issue will be a key pillar of his next term of government.
He and his wife Jenny sat down with Kids News at home in Kirribilli House to speak about spelling and literacy standards as he encouraged all schools and families to join the new, upcoming Kids News Spelling Bee and the benefits of non-fiction literacy resources for children such as kidsnews.com.au.
“These things (spelling) don’t have to be a chore — they can be fun. And kids are competitive, particularly with their parents too,” Mr Morrison said.
The Morrisons started fostering a love of reading with girls Abbey, 11, and Lily, 9, from when they were babies and the couple believe it has made all the difference.
“I think it is really important because if you expose kids to books really early on they get a love of reading and I think that really helps with their spelling,” Mrs Morrison said.
The Prime Minister said reading was “something much bigger” than a story.
“Reading is also about comprehension it is also about understanding; it’s about having that insight into being able to comprehend circumstances, scenarios, situations,” Mr Morrison said.
News Corp Australia’s Community Ambassador Penny Fowler said: “The Kids News Spelling Bee makes me immensely proud, as it means our News in the Community program is delivering on our commitment to invest in educating the next generation and improving children’s literacy.”
Schools and teachers can register interest in the Kids News Spelling Bee at kidsnews.com.au/spelling-bee