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VALLEY FOCUS | Panorama City

Housing Authority's Spelling Bee Planned

April 17, 1998|TOM BECKER

More than 100 elementary and middle school students from across Los Angeles will participate in the city Housing Authority's annual spelling bee on Saturday in Panorama City.

The winners from each of the four age groups will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington.

"There's a great spirit of friendly competition between the kids," said Mario Matute, the Housing Authority's project director for youth at San Fernando Gardens Community Center and one of the event organizers.

The Housing Authority began the competition in 1994 with just 30 students as a way to promote literacy among children living in city housing developments.

Since then, enrollment has increased each year, and Matute said he expects 1998 to have the largest group of competitors ever, largely because of the first-time participation of middle school students.

"We've found this to be such a successful event because the students really respond to it," Matute said. "I think it's the joy of education mixed with the competition that really interests the kids."

The competition will begin at 10 a.m. at the Panorama Mall, 8401 Van Nuys Blvd.

For more information, call the San Fernando Gardens Community Center at (818) 834-9266.

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