As an eighth-grader, Bryn Perrins already has learned one door closing can open another opportunity.
The Lawrence Southwest Middle School student had the goal of duplicating the feat of her older brother Ethan, who earned a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., when he won the state spelling contest in 2014. She nearly attained that goal last year, winning the Douglas County contest and finishing fifth at state.
This year, however, she was tripped up in her own school’s competition before the county bee.
That’s when Bryn found another opportunity that could still earn her a trip to the nation’s capital for the bee in Kindle’s Spellebrity Video Contest, which asks students to submit videos on “How Do You Kindle the Love of Reading?”
“I found it on the website when I was reading about the spelling bee,” Bryn said.
She went to work on the video “Meant to Bee,” which a contest review panel selected as one of 10 finalists in the contest. That list will be cut to five though ongoing online voting that will continue through March 25. Those wishing to view Bryn’s video and vote for her may do so by visiting spellebrity.com and then following the instructions.
Bryn said in her video the renowned pronouncer of the annual spelling bee finals, Jacques Bailly, was stung by a bee and unable carry out his annual duties of pronouncing the words at the bee.
“There’s auditions for a replacement,” she said, adding she plays the part of all auditioning candidates. “There a teenage boy, a teenage girl, a pirate, a mime and my dog.”
At the end of the video, viewers learn the supposed bee sting was “fake news,” and Bailly can do his annual job, Bryn said.
Bryn’s parents, Kristi and Erik Perrins, said their daughter wrote the script and produced the video by herself.
“It surprised me, because I really didn’t have anything to do with making it,” Erik Perrins said. “Her mother held the camera, but the video was all Bryn’s work.”
Her mother said she, too, was surprised, but knew her daughter was a creative and driven girl.
“Going to the spelling bee was something she wanted to do,” she said. “She found another way to accomplish that."
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