More than 300 pupils representing 19 schools from the Four
Corners will put their Navajo language skills to the test as they
compete in the 9th annual Navajo Knowledge Bowl at TseBitAi
Middle School Friday.
language festival, sponsored by Central School District, has grown
to be one of the highly respected Navajo language festivals with
the competition representing all aspects of formal language education,
according toi a news release. Pupils will demonstrate their abilities
to speak, read, write, think and sing in their native language.
Equally important, the competition provides pupils the opportunity
to demonstrate their roots as Diné people and boosts their
self-esteem by performing before an audience.
reading and singing are two of the more popular contest categories
of the Navajo Knowledge Bowl. In the reading event, pupils read
short stories in Navajo before a panel of judges and a small audience.
The singing event draws a gymnasium full of spectators. The speaking
event can also be very entertaining as pupils showcase their storytelling
abilities. The Navajo writing and spelling bee contests reinforce
formal teaching occurring in school systems. Judges of this writing
contest, which is judged prior to the event, noted that this years
entries incorporated excellent grammar and language usage. The writing
entries also displayed evidence of the old Navajo way of teaching
as well as Navajo humor, humor that is not translated from English.
The winning writing entries will be on display at the event.
general knowledge competition promises to challenge pupils in their
understanding of Navajo History, language and government. Student
teams of four complete a multiple choice test and then compete orally
in a game show type event.
9th annual Navajo Knowledge Bowl will begin at 8:30 a.m. with opening
ceremonies featuring Miss Navajo Nation Marla Billie and Miss Northern
Navajo Nation Sunshine Bia. Competition will begin promptly at 9
a.m. and will continue throughout the day. An awards ceremony is
scheduled for 3 p.m.
Navajo Knowledge Bowl is sponsored by Central School Districts
Indian Education Office with the help of the Districts Navajo
Language teachers. Navajo language educators and administrators
from the Navajo Nation Office of Dine Culture and Language and the
Johnson O Malley Program in Window Rock, San Juan College,
Dine College in Shiprock and Bloomfield School District provide
invaluable support in judging the event. And this year, the language
festival has received special financial contributions from community
businesses BHP Billiton and KNDN.
Monica Lujan, (505) 368-4984.