LONDON GROVE -- Seventh grade Avon Grove Charter School student Akhila Yalvigi has been a good reader and speller for most of her 13 years. But in the past two, she has used that talent to finish well in the annual Chester County Spelling Bee. Last year she finished fifth, and this year she came in third.
The event was held at the Chester County Intermediate Unit’s Educational Service Center in Downingtown and was open to the best spellers from 54 area schools.
Akhila said she got tripped up last year on the word “parochialism.” This year, she made it through almost to the end when she said she made a silly mistake spelling “porcupine.”
“I knew how to spell it; I just said a wrong letter,” she said.
Akhila said she was in her first spelling bee in second grade, in a bee for kids ages 5 to 8. “I liked it,” she said.
Next year when she is in eighth grade, she hopes to win the county and go on to the national bee in Washington, D.C.. She said eighth grade is the cutoff, and rules prevent students from participating beyond that.
How did she get so good?
Akhila said her parents read to her when she was very young, and soon she was reading herself. She also went through the “hooked on Phonics” lessons, which added to her skill.
Now her favorite subjects to read are science fiction and time travel. She also loves music and is a member of the Kennett Symphony Children’s Chorus, with which she practices every week in West Chester. With it all, math is her favorite subject.
Akhila lives in Avondale and has been at student at the Avon Grove Charter School for her whole school experience. She is the daughter of Sucheta and Sathya Yalvigi.