Sebastopol, CA. (9/5/2008) - Jane Windham, a 69-year-old world traveler, is “Champion of Champions” of the first annual global Word Cup, an innovative competition for all ages, hosted by nonprofit organization eSpindle Learning.
All 60 winners will be officially announced on International Literacy Day, Monday, September 8th, 2008, on the event’s home page – www.WordCupCafe.org. On the same day the Word Cup Café and the Word-Savvy Forum will launch.
“I’ve always loved language. Every new word I learn adds flavor to my life,” Windham said following her outstanding performance during the finals. “I collect words like other people collect wine or artwork.” Windham, who registered for the event under the name “spellhound,” says she’s never been in a spelling bee and would not enjoy competing live on stage. “Word Cup is private. I can try out anywhere, right here on my laptop, with only the supervisor watching me during finals. It’s a fun event, and I enjoyed all three rounds.”
The unique Word Cup format, which quizzes both vocabulary and spelling skill in a time-restricted environment, can be experienced by visiting www.eSpindle.org/free_quiz. This free practice quiz is regularly updated throughout the year.
While the Word Cup has four first prize winners (one in each of four age categories), Ms. Windham’s 163 word score, plus her 57 bonus points, earned her the top prize. People from 73 countries participated, with the majority of contestants coming from the US, followed by Canada and the UK.
Ms. Windham won an electric car ($11,700 value, www.zapworld.com), a 5-year subscription to the OED (a $1,495 value, www.oup.com), a
$1,000 AromaLand gift certificate (www.aromaland.com), a Sedona audio course ($388, www.sedona.com), and a lifetime membership ($599) to www.eSpindle.org, the online vocabulary and spelling tutoring program hosting the event.
It is not necessary, however, to be a verbal genius to win at the Word Cup!
Future Word Cups will also reward those who show the largest improvement over the previous year – so everyone has a chance to win.
Literacy is another Word Cup winner. “Literacy is often underappreciated - unless you don’t have it,” says Rosevita Warda, eSpindle Learning’s president. “We asked all participants to reflect on what literacy has brought to their lives and to give back."
The campaign will remain open until the end of the year, since some of the winners plan to raise additional funds. A donation button is found on the website, www.WordCupCafe.org, and funds will be shared among nonprofit Room to Read, Unicef’s Girls too! initiative (UNGEI), Benetech’s Bookshare project, the ePals Foundation's in2books, and Proliteracy’s National Book Scholarship Fund.
About eSpindle Learning:
A non-profit organization, eSpindle Learning offers individualized online vocabulary and spelling practice to help students of all ages become confident readers and writers. The online tutoring service delivers customized learning sessions based on a proprietary database of more than 100,000 words.
The organization was established in 2004 and matches memberships with free licenses for disadvantaged students.
For more information about eSpindle, or to sign up for a free 10-day trial, visit www.eSpindle.org or phone 866-377-4635.
For details about the Word Cup, please visit www.WordCupCafe.org.