Congratulations to 10 year Old Mateo Joubert for placing second in the South African National Spelling Bee Competition. He competed against the 27 of the brightest spellers from across the country. Mateo, who is proud of the fact that he could represent his school, community and province, is also the Western Cape’s Provincial Spelling Bee Champion.
Mateo said he had enjoyed participating in the competition but he was also nervous standing in front of the audience and judges. At the finals, he pictured the words in his mind, spelt it in his head and then said it out loud.
He says that he wants to thank his mother, Yvette, for always encouraging him. Yvette said she was in tears watching him do so well at the spelling bee competition. She says that he spells the words with confidence and remains focused. “Mateo worked hard for the competition, he was determined and even woke up early to practise words. As a single mother I am proud of this young boy,” she said.
He is also very grateful for the support he received from his mentor, teacher and coach, Alfonso Smith; as well the librarians who sat with him to spell out the words, and his community who rooted for him.
Mateo had a passion for reading since a young age and has even read whole encyclopaedias. Mateo goes to the library two or three times a week and he loves to read about adventure, science fiction and non-fiction. Not only has reading helped him with his spelling bees, but it has also helped him to better understand subjects like maths and science.
Yvette says that she wants to enrol him into an educational programme that will nurture his other academic skills because he is also good at science and maths. Mateo wants to become a radiologist but he knows that in order to achieve his goals, he needs to work hard and focus.
Source: IOL (edited from an article written by Kaylynn Palm)
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