The Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place from the Tuesday to Thursday after Memorial Day weekend. This year, it takes place from May 31 to June 2. It is an annual spelling competition that is held throughout the United States. Students get the opportunity to participate and win grand prizes, as well as get national recognition. The purpose of the spelling bee is to improve spelling skills and build the vocabulary of students, as well as promote proper usage of the English language.
History of Scripps National Spelling Bee
The National Spelling Bee started in 1925 to promote literacy across the country. Nine newspapers hosted the first spelling bee. 90 years later, the literacy efforts have reached an estimated 11 million students every year now. The first National Spelling Bee was won by Frank Neuhauser; his successful spelling of the word “gladiolus” earned him the title.
The spelling bee has taken place every year except during World War II in the years 1943 to 1945, and in 2020 due to the global pandemic. In 1941, the rights to the national program were acquired by the E.W. Scripps Company. The bee is hosted on a non-profit basis by the company at a convention center or hotel in Washington, D.C. The dates for the spelling bee change every year, but it is always in the week following Memorial Day Weekend.
The spelling bee competition is open to all students who have not passed the eighth grade and turned 15 years old. Ineligible candidates also include students who have won the National Spelling Bee previously. The goal of the event is educational; to develop vocabulary in children, encourage correct usage, and promote the English language.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the longest-running educational program in the country, organized by the E.W. Scripps Company and sponsored by 291 partners in the United States, Canada, Guam, Jamaica, Ghana, and Puerto Rico, New Zealand, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
Scripps National Spelling Bee timeline
The first-ever National Spelling Bee takes place this year.
The time limit for spelling a word is reduced to two minutes, putting more pressure on the participants.
The national trophy for the Spelling Bee is introduced and designed by Ohio-based Rookwood Pottery.
Zaila Avant-garde makes history as the first African American and the first Louisiana speller to win the Bee.
Scripps National Spelling Bee FAQs
How do you qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee?
To qualify for the Grand Scripps National Spelling Bee, spellers must clear the regional competition first.
What are the levels of the Scripps Spelling Bee?
The levels of the Scripps Spelling Bee are One Bee, Two Bee, and Three Bee.
What is the hardest spelling bee word?
The word considered the most difficult in the spelling bee is “soubrette”.
Scripps National Spelling Bee Activities
Sign up for the Spelling Bee
Eligible students can sign up for this year’s Spelling Bee. It is a great opportunity worth participating in.
Watch the National Spelling Bee
Footage is available online of past Spelling Bees and the winners. You can learn more about the event by watching its videos. If you know someone that’s entering, cheer them on!
Host your own spelling bee
If you cannot participate in the National Spelling Bee, you can have your own spelling bee at school or home. Invite friends and family to join in!
5 Facts About The National Spelling Bee
The words for the spelling bee
The Bee has worked with Merriam-Webster for 50 years to bring unique and interesting words to the participating spellers.
The official dictionary for the Bee
Merriam-Webster Unabridged is the official dictionary of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
There is a Bee book club
The Bee’s Bookshelf is a monthly book club for everyone.
The rules were stricter before
Before 2004, a speller had to pronounce the given word correctly before the judges allowed them to spell it.
What the Bee means
The “Bee” in the National Spelling Bee refers to a gathering, not the insect.
Why We Love Scripps National Spelling Bee
The National Spelling Bee has been promoting literacy, vocabulary, and education since 1925. Hence they have been elevating standards of literacy in their own way.
Learning made fun
The National Spelling Bee is fun, and its competitive nature makes it a great experience, rather than monotonously learning. We love it for this reason!
Building the foundation of children
The words the participating spellers learn for the Bee, as well as the experience gained through it, will stay with them for life. Watch this year, and maybe add some words to your vocabulary!
Scripps National Spelling Bee dates