Penn Alexander School Sixth-Grader Vying for Title at National Spelling Bee in Washington

PHILADELPHIA — Sowsan Salaam, a 12-year-old sixth-grader from the University of Pennsylvania-assisted partnership school, Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Elementary in West Philadelphia, is in Washington, D.C., today, competing against nearly 300 of the best spellers across the country at the Scripps National Spelling Bee this week.

This is the third consecutive year that Penn Alexander students have made it to the national competition after ranking at the top of their school’s spelling bee and then taking first place at the regional level.

Through Penn Alexander’s Choice program, students get to choose an elective, including one in spelling.
Choice fosters identity development, promotes accountability and provides opportunities to develop individual talents and interests.

Two teachers in literacy, Megan Wapner and Hillary Ehling, both alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania, sponsor the spelling class and along with Salaam’s family are in Washington to show their support.