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April 28, 2003

Students compete in deaf finger spelling bee

From: WLS, IL - Apr 28, 2003

By Karen Meyer

April 28, 2003 -- Spelling bees are a part of growing up for many students and for deaf students it's no exception. Today students squared off at the 20th annual citywide deaf fingerspelling bee.

Teachers voice and sign the word to the student. Each student has to first fingerspell the word then sign it. In some cases, students will try spelling the word behind their back before presenting it to the judges. In order to become a contestant in the citywide competition, students have to be the top four spellers in their age group.

Cristina Duran, 12, won in the 10 to 12 age group. Cristina is in the 5th grade at Kinzie School on the South Side. Her proud teacher, Theresa Konrath, says Cristina is a bright student.

"I love the spelling bee and I ran it for many years and I am happy she won for Kinzie," said Konrath.

The winner of ages 13 and older is 15-year-old Venecia Everheart who is also from Kinzie School. Venecia's teacher Traci Cobb-Eveans says this was a major accomplishment for her.

"I am very proud of her because she is also LD," said Cobb- Eveans. "So I am very proud of her."

This Friday the top four winners from each group will be going to Peoria where the deaf statewide finger spelling competition will be held.

Twenty-eight students from four Chicago schools participated in today's bee. Congratulations to all the winners!

Copyright ©2003 ABC Inc., WLS Television, Inc.