On June 1, Charlene Campion, a senior at Pathways College Preparatory School,  took first place for the Haitian Creole & English award in the first annual National Bilingual Bee & Biliteracy Competition at P.S. 250 in Brooklyn. Nearly 100 students participated in the competition. 

“I never thought I would win an award for speaking Haitian Creole and English,” said Campion.

Each student entered into one of the four National Bilingual Bee & Biliteracy Competition categories: Mandarin Chinese and English, French and English, Spanish and English and Haitian Creole and English. The participants ranged from ages ages 6-18, and were all proficient in more than one language.  After three rounds that assessed each student’s bilingual skills in spelling, listening, writing and speaking, the judges took on the difficult decision of choosing the winner of each of their designated categories.

Naphtalie Jean-Baptis, a senior at Pathways College Preparatory School placed second in the Haitian Creole & English division. 

“Over the past 3 years Smart Coos has provided bilingual instruction to 1000s of children in NYC and across the nation in both their heritage language and English. Because of this experience we know that this is the time to bring all student language learners together to celebrate the beauty of each language, culture and diversity,” said Mirta Desir, CEO of Smart Coos, an organization that promotes linguistic diversity and multilingual education. 

“This is why each year we will increase the number of languages that are available in the Bilingual Bee & Biliteracy Competition.”Registration for the Second Annual National Bilingual Bee & Biliteracy Competition in 2020 is now open on the Biliteracy Bee website ( http://www.biliteracybee.com/ ).

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