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Students at Pratt Elementary are practicing hard for the 2022 MPS Spelling Bee

Posted at 3:27 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 16:27:16-04

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Public Schools Spelling Bee is this weekend!

For 4th grader Ranyah Spell Liggins and 5th grader Serenity Carter, reading is the best subject in school – so they’re pretty excited for the Bee.

“I like to learn new things and some new words,” Serenity says.

“Back in history,” Ranyah adds, “about George Washington and pirates and other people.”

Joining the Spelling Bee seemed like the obvious thing to do.

“If I can do reading, I think I can know how to spell!” Ranyah says.

The girls and their classmates can’t wait for an opportunity to show all they know. Serenity’s mom, Shirnikia, remembers that feeling from her own time in the Spelling Bee.

“It was very exciting. I had a lot of fun with my peers, my teachers were excited for me, my parents were proud,” she recalls. “It’s exciting for them to be able to participate in something with each other and just to see how much they know. It’s great for them.”

As excited as Shirnikia is for Serenity’s academic progress, she knows the Spelling Bee will also help build confidence.

“Serenity has been a shy bug for a long time, so it’s helping her step out and get comfortable with herself,” she says.

Luckily, Serenity has a lot of supportive fans.

“I would practice in front of my family members and cousins, like a big group of them, so then I can get over my fear,” Serenity says.

She and Ranyah are more confident than ever, and optimistic they’ll win.

“It would mean so much to me, I would be very happy and my family would be very proud of me,” Serenity says.

“It will mean so much to me because my family will be proud of me and after that, my mom will probably take me out for ice cream!” Ranyah adds.

The Spelling Bee will be hosted on May 14 at Vincent High School for grades 3-5. The next round will be on May 21 for grades 6-8. You can watch all the rounds live right here on

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