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Move Over Scripps, It’s HFH’s Annual Spelling Bee

Move Over Scripps, It’s HFH’s Annual Spelling Bee

Now entering its third year, the bilingual spelling bee series is one of Have Faith Haiti’s most anticipated events on the school calendar and for the community. Held on Thursday, June 22 and attended even by visitors from outside of the Mission, this year’s English Spelling Bee was led by School Director Cara Nesser. (Our French Spelling Bee will be on July 5th.)

The words in both Bees are ones that we use in school all year. The children are not given random, unfamiliar words to memorize. They are expected to be able to read, define, and use the words in context long before the Spelling Bee. Two weeks prior to the competition, each class is given a list of 124 words from their studies in the current school year, and organized from easiest to most difficult. They have two weeks to practice and prepare. Every child in the competing classes takes part. It is a highlight of the school year. Winners receive certificates and prizes related to literacy.

Danois–winner of Beginner Spelling Bee

This year, for the first time, there were four competitions: Beginner Spelling Bee was for our youngest primary students. This is the first year we have extended the Spelling Bee to their level, but as they have been working with challenging vocabulary all year, they were ready! They had to spell words like seismologist, tectonic, crevasse and Caspian Sea. Danois was the winner, spelling Caribbean correctly. Our Runner Up was Josue.



The Junior Spelling Bee was especially exciting. This was also the first time these children had competed. In the last round, Samanza and Enolyka were in a tie for first place that could not be broken, even after words like chlorophyll, apostrophe, phosphorus and cyanobacteria




Samanza and Enolyka –winners of the Junior Spelling Bee


So Ms. Cara was forced to bring out the word they dreaded—Deoxyribonucleic Acid! (The real name for DNA) Samanza went first, while Enolyka was isolated in the Sound Proof Booth (No, not really; we don’t have one of those! She was kept out of earshot in another room) Samanza spelled the word correctly, and the excitement was palpable as Enolyka was brought back in for her turn. You could hear a pin drop. And then… she spelled it correctly too! The competition ended with a well-deserved tie for first place! Louvenson became our Junior Spelling Bee Runner Up.



The Senior Spelling Bee is for our oldest Primary students. Last year, the Junior Bee ended in a tie between Widley and Djouna. This year, returning champion Widley won it again in the Senior Bee, with the word Mississippian. And the Runner Up was none other than—Djouna! Well done again!

Whidley winner of Senior Spelling Bee

This year we are proud that 6 of our students have reached the middle school level. This means we have a new, even more difficult Spelling Bee for them! The Middle School Spelling Bee includes words like Paedrophyne Amauensis , bioluminescence, Osteichthyes, Cnidarian, Echinoderm, Aurora Borealis… Our winner was Chivensky who correctly spelled the word Cephalochordate. Our Runner Up was Junie Anna!

Chivensky takes a bow of relief after successfully spelling the winning word-Cephalochordate.

Chivensky, winner of the Middle School Bee







Junia Anna, Ms. Cara, Chivensky

Now the children are preparing for the French Bee. Watch this space for the winners!

More Photos:

S.A.Y. Detroit and Cooper Standard Join Forces Again at Morningside Community Park

S.A.Y. Detroit and Cooper Standard Join Forces Again at Morningside Community Park

S.A.Y. Detroit teamed up once again with the Cooper Standard Foundation to expand the playground it built back in 2016. It is the same eastside Detroit community where Working Homes/Working Families has rebuilt and given away 9 homes to needy families.

Dozens of employees from Cooper Standard returned to the Morningside neighborhood to add another section of playground equipment this afternoon. The playground is located on Three Mile Road, between Munich and Waveney streets. On hand were Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom.

Albom said: “This project is a shining example of our commitment to benefit families and beautify the neighborhood.”

S.A.Y. Detroit’s Working Homes/Working Families initiative places working families in need of housing into refurbished homes. In this neighborhood, it has been a collaborative effort involving S.A.Y. Detroit, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Cooper Standard and Dow. Hundreds of Cooper Standard and Dow employees have volunteered in helping with the project.

“It is part of the long-term commitment we have to both the Working Homes/Working Families charity and this neighborhood”, said Keith Stephenson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Cooper Standard.

Highlight reel from last year’s build (created by Cooper Standard):

S.A.Y. Play Center Gets Spruced Up

S.A.Y. Play Center Gets Spruced Up

When the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park reopens after the Fourth of July, the students enrolled for the summer session will enjoy a fresh start — in more ways than one.

Nearly 40 A Time to Help volunteers spent last Saturday morning (June 24) giving the inside of the facility a scrub-down, while another group tackled the center’s vast campus, including weeding and picking up trash along the fence lines. (more…)

Pop-up DWIF Up & Running Thanks to DMCII

Pop-up DWIF Up & Running Thanks to DMCII

Bloomfield Hills — If you happen to stop by the Detroit Water Ice Factory’s new pop-up location this summer at the Franklin Cider Mill, you’ll see the handy work of your Detroit Muscle Crew II.

All you have to do is take a look around.

The scoop: A team of DMCII members came together shortly before Memorial Day and put up the large tent on the parking lot at the cider mill. It wasn’t as easy as it looks. There was some craftsmanship going on to make the whole thing come together, with volunteers Jack Galopin and a few member members of Scott Albaugh’s masonry team, combined with a huge assist from Richard Krus of Midas Shelby Township.

The pop-up location at the cider mill, which is closed for the summer, will be open through the third week of August.

The DWIF, founded by author and columnist Mitch Albom, opened in downtown Detroit in August 2015. All profits support Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit charity, which helps Detroiters in need. The cider mill’s picturesque scenery makes it the perfect spot for a pop-up, so come visit us this summer!

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