Each spring, the WITF Central PA Spelling Bee invites 5th to 8th grade students from 10 surrounding counties to demonstrate their spelling knowledge as they attempt to make their way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Interested schools register with Scripps in the fall and then conduct their own qualifying Spelling Bee at their school. Winners from each of the participating schools compete in a 50 word written test and 50 word vocabulary test held at the WITF Public Media Center. No more than the top 35 spellers participate in the WITF Grand Championship Spelling Bee, an oral spell down which is then broadcast on WITF TV. The winner from that bee qualifies to compete nationally in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
What makes us watch spelling bees? Is it the enthusiasm and nervousness of the spellers that attracts our attention or is it a hope for their success? (Of course, few of us would be able to spell many of the words that these seventh-graders can.)
On Jan. 29, witf played host to its third-annual Central PA Spelling Bee. About 150 spellers representing 67 schools from 10 counties participated in a 100-word written test at the Public Media Center. No more than 36 of the top spellers will advance to the Grand Championship Spelling Bee on Feb. 25. The top spellers will be announced right here at 9am on February 3rd.
While competing onstage at the Grand Championship Spelling Bee, spellers will rely on their hours of studying and understanding of a word’s origins to avoid the dreaded bell signaling they are wrong and out. Competitors continue until only one speller remains. That Grand Champion will then travel to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in the spring.
You can watch the contest on witf TV at 6 p.m. Feb. 26 with rebroadcasts at 8 p.m. Feb. 29 and 1 p.m. March 2.
Published in Spelling Bee
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