By GABRIELLA CRUZ-MARTÍNEZ
Vincent Dizon, a 4th grade student at Murray Language Academy, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave., has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he has qualified to compete in the 2018 Illinois National Geographic State Bee. The competition will take place at the Illinois State University Braden Auditorium, 200 N. University St., in Normal, Ill. on April 6.
Murray students in 4th through 8th grade took the preliminary round test in their world language classes to participate in the school’s Geography Bee, and the top two scorers from each grade level competed in the school bee.
Dizon won the school-wide Geography Bee in January, and recently passed an online-qualifying exam to make it to the Illinois National Geographic State Bee. This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee contest, which is now celebrating its 30th year.
Only the top 100 scorers of the online-qualifying test in each state or territory advance to the state-level competition, according to the National Geographic Bee’s rules.
“Vincent has been a student at Murray since kindergarten,” said Maestra Spector, one of Dizon’s Spanish teachers at Murray. “He is a wonderful child and student to work with. Vincent is always willing to learn, he is very responsible and dedicated. His parents are very supportive and we are so proud of his accomplishment and look forward to seeing him represent Murray at the state-level Geography Bee.”
Dizon will be competing for the chance to participate in the National Championship at the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington D.C. where rewards include college scholarships and other prizes.
“He’s very smart and hardworking,” added Ni Laoshi, Dizon’s Mandarin teacher at Murray. “He wants to be smarter, but he is humble about it and shows leadership when motivating others.”
“Each year, thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society,” said Principal Greg Mason. “The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world.”
One champion from each state and territory will advance to the National Geographic Bee Championship, which will be held May 20-23 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The National Geographic Bee is an annual competition organized by the National Geographic Society, designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. The contest, that brings in thousands of students across the United States, is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark students interest, and increase public awareness of geography.