California's Aliya Deri Wins GSN's Second Annual 'National Vocabulary Championship'...

Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:24pm EDT

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California's Aliya Deri Wins GSN's Second Annual 'National Vocabulary
Championship' Finals
Deri Outperforms 49 of America's Top High School Vocabulary Scholars, Winning
$40,000 Toward a Higher Education Savings Plan

LOS ANGELES, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Aliya Deri, a 16-year-old junior at
Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, CA, outperformed 49 of the country's
brightest high school vocabulary scholars today, winning GSN's second annual
NATIONAL VOCABULARY CHAMPIONSHIP (NVC) FINALS. As the 2008 National Vocabulary
Champion, Deri won $40,000 deposited into a "529" higher education savings
plan. Select video coverage of the live competition, which took place at The
Music Box Theatre @ Fonda in Los Angeles earlier today, can be found at
http://www.GSN.com/NVC.
    (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080310/LAM119)
    (Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071220/LATH075LOGO)
    A national academic competition launched by GSN (Game Show Network) in
2006, the NVC was created to promote language arts skills and encourage
vocabulary programs in high schools nationwide. More than a traditional
"spelling bee," the NVC challenges high school students with a variety of
word-play games focused on word usage and comprehension. Over 100,000 students
took part in the 2007-2008 NVC competition, more than triple the number of
last year's participants. The NVC has also received numerous accolades from
some of the country's most noted dignitaries including New York CityMayor
Michael Bloomberg and former Vice President Al Gore. In total, it has awarded
close to $190,000 in tuition and grant monies.
    Along with the NVC's educational partner The Princeton Review, who
provided the study materials and testing/game content for the NVC, today's
event was presented in partnership with Cablevision's Power to Learn, Charter
Communications, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
    "We'd like to thank everyone involved in this year's NVC, especially our
affiliate partners, who helped champion this important initiative in
communities nationwide, and The Princeton Review," commented Dennis Gillespie,
GSN's Senior Vice President of Distribution. "It's been our privilege to see
such competitive young minds like those here today flourish over the last year
and we congratulate Aliya on her fine achievement."
    After two intense rounds of competition, Deri sealed her victory in the
third and final round by correctly identifying "peccadillo" as having come
from the Latin word for "sin" in the following sentence:
    "Joseph was not perturbed by his pal's peccadillo, but his parents
apprehended it to be an unambiguous portent of future dereliction."
    The knock-out-style round of vocabulary questions had begun with five
finalists, of which 17 year-old NVC returnee Matthew Chao (East Brunswick, NJ)
and 17 year-old Janice Chen (Troy, MI) placed second and third, respectively.
Craig Watson, Vice President of Communications for Charter Communications,
Jeff Hirsch, President Metro Division, Time Warner Cable, The Princeton
Review's Christine Parker, and NVC host Dylan Lane presented Deri's trophy and
check, crowning her this year's National Vocabulary Champion.
    "The Princeton Review wants to congratulate all the students who have
advanced to the Finals. We are proud to be a part of this event and that our
study materials have helped them achieve this success," said Rob Franek, VP
Publishing of The Princeton Review.
    One of the 42 students to earn a spot at the NVC Finals via the program's
online exam and in-person regional exam, Deri (daughter of Robert and Chandan)
is no stranger to academic competition. In 2005, she placed second at the
Scripps National Spelling Bee and placed nationally in a variety of other
regional, state, and national competitions. An avid reader in her free time,
Deri also plays the piano, violin, and viola. In addition, she competes on her
high school's water polo and swim teams.
    "I'm extremely surprised. I honestly didn't think I'd make it this far.
And then to win," said an exuberant Deri upon her victory. "If anyone wants to
win this, start reading. Start now; that's how you learn."
    For her victory, Deri will also receive a copy of The American Heritage(R)
Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, a "one year supply" of
burritos from Chipotle Mexican Grill, Encyclopedia Britannica's 2008 Ultimate
Reference Suite DVD as well as their Concise Encyclopedia and 2008 Almanac,
$500 in online credit redeemable for merchandise at Mead.com and a new Sony
Vaio(R) SZ Series Notebook.
    As today's second-place winner, Chao will receive $2,500 deposited into a
"529" higher education savings plan and  $2,500 in study materials/services
from The Princeton Review. For her third-place finish, Chen will be awarded
$500 toward her own "529" higher education savings plan as well as $500 in
study materials/services from The Princeton Review.
    Embraced by students, teachers, higher education officials and education
groups including the National Education Association, the NVC is also supported
by sponsors The American Heritage(R) Dictionary, Chipotle, Encyclopedia
Britannica, Mead, Sony Vaio(R), USA Today and Youth Service America. As the
2007-2008 NVC transportation sponsor, JetBlue Airways provided roundtrip
airfare to and from Los Angeles for the contestants and their guests.
    Photos of the 50 NVC finalists, along with more information about the
National Vocabulary Championship and video of the event, can be found at
http://www.GSN.com/NVC.
    About the "National Vocabulary Championship"
    GSN's National Vocabulary Championship (NVC) is a nationwide academic
competition that offers high school students the opportunity to win money
toward college tuition through local and national events.  Created by GSN,
along with educational partner The Princeton Review, the NVC is open to
eligible high school students in the 50 United States and District of
Columbia.  The NVC is the cornerstone of GSN's award-winning "Win With Words"
public service campaign dedicated to improving language arts skills in high
schools by promoting the value of an enhanced vocabulary, providing free
Princeton Review study materials and engaging students in wordplay.  For free
vocabulary study materials or for more information on GSN's National
Vocabulary Championship, please visit http://www.gsn.com/NVC.
    About GSN
    GSN is an industry-leading, game content provider distributing competition
programming through its 66-million subscriber cable television network and its
casual and skill-based online games site, GSN.com. As the premier television
network for games, GSN produces some of the most popular original casino and
game show series on TV today. GSN.com features all types of game play: FLASH
games for fun, skill cash game tournaments and free downloadable games. GSN is
distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada by all major cable operators,
satellite providers and telcos. The company is jointly owned by Sony Pictures
Entertainment and Liberty Media Corporation. For further information, visit
GSN's press website at corp.gsn.com.
    About The Princeton Review
    The Princeton Review is a pioneer in the world of education. Founded in
1981 and headquartered in New York City, the Company offers private tutoring
and classroom and online test preparation to help students improve their
scores in college and graduate school admissions tests. The Company's free
website, http://www.PrincetonReview.com, helps over half of university-bound
students research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to pay for their
higher education, and helps hundreds of colleges and universities streamline
their admissions and recruiting activities. In addition, The Princeton Review
works with school districts around the U.S. to measurably strengthen students'
academic skills by connecting ongoing assessment with professional development
and instruction and by providing districts with college and career resources
for both students and guidance counselors. The Company also authors more than
200 print and software titles on test preparation, college and graduate school
selection and admissions, and related topics.
SOURCE  GSN

Cindy Ronzoni of GSN, +1-310-255-6933, cronzoni@gsn.com
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