The Pine Bluff School District’s Freedom School will host a spelling bee at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22. The event will be held at the cafeteria of First Ward School, 1300 E. Fifth Ave.

Students will work with their teachers and mentors to prepare for the spelling bee.

“The spelling bee will challenge scholars to increase their vocabulary, literary ranges, and instructional reading levels. During the event, Freedom School scholars grades K-12 will compete with peers and winners will receive prizes. This will be an evening of fun, learning, and academic growth,” according to a press release.

Freedom School is held in the First Ward School building as an after-school program employing college students as teachers and mentors and serving as an extension for learning, academic enrichment and community engagement for students, according to the release.

Freedom Schools serve PBSD students with a focus on literacy, leadership, and mentorship to help close the achievement gap, according to the release.

“Data from the 2017 Freedom School pilot showed that scholars increased an average of 1 year and 2 months in their instructional reading levels during the 6-week summer program,” according to the release.

Details: Zach Lewis, program director, at ​ .