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How Do You Spell Senior? F-U-N, Nat'l Senior Spelling Bee in WYO

June 14, 2007


Cheyenne, WY - Seniors from all over the country are in Cheyenne this weekend to compete in the AARP National Senior Spelling Bee. The competition was designed to inspire seniors to keep their minds sharp - and a study out today (Thursday-Wake Forest University) shows "fitness programs" for the brain improve thinking and concentration in older adults. Comments from Rita Inoway (INN-oh-way) with AARP Wyoming. (Note: There is a nat sound cut offered for production purposes)


Keeping the mind sharp takes practice, and it's a skill that's been well-honed for seniors in Cheyenne this week for the National Senior Spelling Bee. Rita Inoway with A-A-R-P Wyoming says the competition started 12 years ago, and has grown to attract contestants from almost every state...


"They really increase their vocabulary. And the people who win usually are people who are voracious readers. They come across a word they don't know, and they look it up."

A study out today (Thursday) from Wake Forest University shows "fitness programs" for the brain, like studying for spelling bees, are a good way for older adults to stay sharp. The competition is Saturday. The winner will be a guest on a national network morning news show.


The oldest contestant is Reta Lorenz from Laramie. She's 87 years old. Inoway says Reta is a good example of a member of the "golden generation" who never stops learning...


"Staying sharp - it's building new networks in the mind, and new neural pathways and connections."


(this is audio for previous competitions to be used for production purposes)


"...guess of the day"


Keeping the mind sharp takes practice, and it's a skill that's been well-honed for seniors in Cheyenne this week for the National Senior Spelling Bee. Deborah Smith reports.


"...stay sharp"

The competition is Saturday, The Plains Hotel, Cheyenne, media welcome. Rita Inoway is at 307-432-5801. Info on the concentration and thinking study at http://www1.wfubmc.edu.


Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WY