Deaf Boy Wins a Spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee 2016

Neil Maes from South Carolina just won a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee

A young boy from South Carolina just won the National Spelling Bee, beating out many other children vying for spots in the Scripps competition. That boy is Neil Maes.

Maes, a fifth grader, was born deaf. He has cochlear implants which help him hear the words being called out for spelling. His winning word in the qualifying competition was “ecru,” which is the light beige of unbleached linen. An advanced word for a fifth grader to know! Another great word that Maes successfully spelled was “abecedarius,” meaning the style of poetry which every line’s first letter is in alphabetical order. It also happens to be his favorite word!

According to Maes’ parents, he loves to spell German words and “chihuahua” and is nervous about the big competition. He had a fun time drawing and eating cookies when not on stage spelling out big words-he’s already preparing for the big nationals! If he wins the nationals, he’ll get to take home a grand prize of $40,000 with an engraved trophy and other prizes.


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