'It runs in her culture': Spelling bees transforming one Navajo community

Interest in spelling bees in one Navajo Nation district shot up after Kelly Haven made it to the national stage in Washington D.C., representing children who had never before seen anyone like her make it that far. The increased interest has led to consistent local funding for resources to assist in preparing for the bees, renewed vigor in classrooms and an improvement in test scores as well as graduation rates. Before Kelly made it to the national stage, no one from her school district had made it to the regional bee in a decade. Eight children qualified for the Navajo Nation spelling bee the following year.

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