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.
There are more than 470,000 words in the latest Webster’s Dictionary and its addenda section. It’s hard to imagine reading through all of those words, but many students admit that’s how they prepare for witf’s 4th annual Central PA Spelling Bee.
The written portion of the contest will be held at the witf Public Media Center on Jan. 27. The participants will be made up of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who won their individual school’s spelling bees. This year, more than 50 schools registered to participate from 10 surrounding counties. The students who score highest on the 100-word written test will advance to the Grand Championship Spelling Bee.
The 2013 Grand Championship Spelling Bee will take place at the witf Public Media Center on Feb. 23 and will be televised at 5 p.m. Feb. 24; 7 p.m. Feb. 27; and 1 p.m. March 1 on witf. There can only be one winner at the Grand Championship Bee and that speller will move on to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee held near Washington, D.C.
Last year, Katie Dudding (shown), a student from St. Joseph’s Middle School in Mechanicsburg and the champion of witf’s Central PA Spelling Bee,graced the stage at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Dudding correctly spelled both words she received in the preliminary rounds of the national bee but did not qualify for the semifinals.
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