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Jacksonville, FL. (October 6, 2018) — Councilman Danny Becton joined Community In Schools of Jacksonville CEO Steve Gilbert by participating as a Celebrity judge for the YMCA’s 2nd Annual Spelling Bee at the Brooks Family YMCA in District 11.

In a return invitation to this competition, this day found Council Member Becton enjoying the academic activities of some very impressive students, learning some new vocabulary words and being impressed by some outstanding spelling as the YMCA facility on Deerwood Park Blvd was filled with folks hitting the machines, lifting weights, and enjoying what this impressive facility has to offer.

The Spelling Bee was held on Saturday, October 6th. The competition was split up into two brackets and only allowed up to 25 spots per bracket. Participants had to register prior to the competition, which cost $50 for members and $75 for non-members. The first bracket was for children between the age of 6 to 9 years old and started at 9 a.m. The second bracket took place right after at 11 a.m. for 10 to 12-years-olds for which CM Becton judged.

Councilman Becton was one of the four judges who helped make sure the seven, pre-teen, finalist in the second bracket spelled their word correctly as the words provided were not easy. The list of words assigned were random, lengthy, and beyond most 10 to 12-year-olds average reading level. Councilman Becton was amazed at the brilliance each child displayed when they took the stage during their turn.

“The words that these students were given and spelled with ease was quite impressive”, CM Becton stated. “With no auto correct or Word spell check to relay upon, I am not sure, I would have survived past round one”, CM Becton laughed.

Councilman Becton was the designated judge who announced “correct” or “incorrect” after the child spelled he or she’s assigned word.

The competition lasted nearly an hour before a winner was announced. None of the contestants left empty handed. Each received a dictionary and framed award for participating, and the first-place winner of each bracket received a $200 Visa gift card with their awards.

According to the First Coast YMCA website, 100% of the proceeds from the spelling bee benefit the YMCA’s Annual Giving Campaign. “The campaign provides free access to Y programs for families in need.”

The YMCA 2017 Annual Report highlights a few of its funding priorities benefited by its annual campaign, which include Y Scholarships, free year-round swimming lessons for under-resourced youth, after-school and camp activities, and the Y’s Angel Tree program.

You can find more information about how to join the Brooks Family YMCA community or how to donate to its annual campaign, Visit: