Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Student Maps Future with Geography Bee

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Student Maps Future with Geography Bee

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Times-Union staff writer

San Juan del Rio Catholic School student Nicholas Cellura wants to be the Floridian who shows off his knowledge of the world at the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C.

So does Hendricks Methodist Day School's John Allen, while Susie Tolbert Middle School's Evan Dodd, Stillwell Middle School's Kevin Fernandez and St. Joseph's Catholic School's Erin Heaney probably share the same feeling.

But first, one of the students who represent the Jacksonville area must beat 95 other Florida children who, like themselves, scored highest in their school's Geography Bee.

That test comes April 5 at the state's Geographic Bee at Jacksonville University's Terry Concert Hall. The winner will represent Florida May 21 and 22 in the nation's capitol.

For Allen, it means more study to prepare for the April 5 test, using an on-line Web site that offers sample questions and maps to study. Now he hopes he can be the one to go to Washington.

"It has been pretty tough, because the test I took had hard questions," he said. "I am really excited. I am the first one from my school, and I could get to see the Capitol and Washington if I win."

Cellura said he was a bit surprised to be picked as one of the top 100 in the state to take the Florida Bee test, because he didn't think he did that well on his school-level exam. And while he's "a bit nervous but excited" about taking the test at JU, the 10-year-old fifth-grader says he loves geography because he can find out about all of the world's cultures.

"I did well last year, and I wanted to try again this year," he said. "I have been studying every night and playing geography games on the computer and reading atlases and stuff. …

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