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CA fourth grader goes for spelling bee title

Emily Claire Coates

Copiah Academy fourth grader Emily Claire Coates will compete in the 2011 Mississippi Statewide Spelling Bee live on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) TV on Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m.

Coates is one of 29 contestants from across the state that will put her spelling skills to the test before a statewide audience. The winner will go on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Washington, D.C.

“I am so excited about this competition.  It is going to be really fun!” states Coates.” I am very excited to be representing Copiah Academy. The fact that the event is televised makes me nervous and exhilarated at the same time.”  

Coates is the daughter of John and Brandi Coates of Hazlehurst, Miss.

“Mississippi Public Broadcasting is pleased to broadcast the Statewide Spelling Bee again this year,” states MPB Acting Executive Director Jay Woods. “Our statewide network is the perfect platform to promote Mississippi’s exceptional students and their dedication to learning.”

Michael Rubenstein, Executive Director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum, will pronounce the competition again this year.

The event is sponsored by Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE). “The Mississippi Association has been honored to sponsor this event for the past three years and working with Mississippi Public Broadcasting has been an enormous benefit as well,” says Kevin F. Gilbert,

President of MAE. “Once again, we are excited to showcase the scholastic talents of some of Mississippi’s most extraordinary students.”

According to the E. W. Scripps Company, which administers the National Spelling Bee program, the spelling bee is open to students who have neither turned 16 nor passed beyond the eighth grade and who currently attend schools that officially enrolled with the spelling bee program for the current academic year. A complete list of rules can be found at

MAE will provide the winner with a cash award toward expenses to compete in the 84th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., June 1-2, 2011.

Tune in Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m. to watch Emily Claire compete in the 2011 Mississippi Statewide Spelling Bee live on MPB TV.

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