HWS faculty and students recently competed in the Literacy Volunteers of Ontario-Yates’ (LVOY) 12th annual Adult Spelling Bee, a lighthearted philanthropic event that brings together local community members to raise money for much needed tutoring programs.
Tying for top honors this year was the HWS faculty team, “Beewildered,” which included Associate Professor of Art Lara Blanchard, Associate Professor of Russian Kristen Welsh and Professor of Biology Beth Newell. The competition also featured a strong showing from the HWS student team “Beeware,” which included Natia Bueno ’14, Charlie DeBenedetto ’16 and Morgan Gilbard ’15.
Together, the HWS teams contributed $700 to the Spelling Bee, which is LVOY’s largest fundraiser of the year. Bringing in more than $4,900, the money raised will go toward buying books and other materials needed in the organization’s tutoring programs.
“Tutors work one-on-one with adults who want to improve their ability to read and write and with adults who want to learn English as a second language,” says Newell, who has served as a tutor and is currently a member of the LVOY Board of Directors. “The students set their own goals such as passing a written driver’s test, getting a better job, or learning English in order to apply for citizenship. Tailoring lessons to meet an individual student’s needs is one of the great features of Literacy Volunteers.”
The mission of LVOY is to provide adults with literacy skills needed to reach their full potential as individuals, parents, workers and citizens. Newell says the funds raised in the Spelling Bee directly support LVOY programming.
“The goal of some of the learners is simply to be able to read a bed-time story to their children or grandchildren,” Newell says. “Others are working toward a high school equivalency diploma. Quite a few of our learners have become U.S. Citizens with help from their tutors. The success stories are really inspirational.”
The Canandaigua Medical Group “CMG Bees” tied HWS faculty for first place at this year’s contest.
In the top photo, Professor of Biology Beth Newell, Associate Professor of Art Lara Blanchard and Associate Professor of Russian Kristen Welsh gather as the HWS faculty team “Beewildered” at the LVOY 12th annual Adult Spelling Bee. The second photo features Morgan Gilbard ’15, Natia Bueno ’14 and Charlie DeBenedetto ’16, members of the HWS student team “Beeware.”