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Spelling Bee winners

OW Staff | 3/26/2009, 5 p.m.

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (BHCP) officials proudly announce that fifth grader Jessica Robinson of the 54th Street Elementary School is the 2008 BHCP Kids' Spelling Bee champ.

Robinson beat second-place finisher Winston Ludlow of St. Bernadette Elementary School by spelling the word "usurp" in the bonus round of the champion finals that were held March 22, 2003in BHCP's Sears Court. Chauntel Browden of Tom Bradley Elementary School finished third.

Also competing in Saturday's finals were Ralston Galvez (Angeles Mesa), Destiny Thomas (Transfiguration) and Kayla Walls (Hillcrest).

The six finalists survived three rounds of eliminations that began at the beginning of March with about 250 fifth graders at six local elementary schools.

Adding to the championship excitement was teen singer/actress Keke Palmer, who served as one of the judges. In addition to being a judge, Palmer, who won the 2007 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a motion picture for her role in the critically acclaimed movie "Akeelah and the Bee", also performed a mini-concert to honor the finalists.

For her victory, Miss Robinson received $50 in cash, plus a trophy and brand new bike. The second place prize was $25 in cash and a trophy. The third place finisher received a trophy, plus all of the finalists were given an autographed copy of Keke's last CD entitled "So Uncool".

The competition was sponsored by BHCP Kids, which is the mall's education and health initiative. Angeles Mesa, Coliseum, Hillcrest Drive, St. Bernadette's, Tom Bradley, 42nd Street' 54th Street; Sixth Avenue and Transfiguration are participating schools in the BHCP Kids' program.

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, located at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Crenshaw Boulevards is home of Macy's, Wal-Mart, Sears, Magic Johnson Theaters, Creole Chef, and over 115 stores and restaurants.