It’s time to crack open the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and brush up on some new words.
For the 60 young competitors at this year’s Duke University Regional Spelling Bee, dictionaries, lists of study words, and word games have prepared them to take the stage and spell in front of a crowd on March 17.
The regional spelling bee is free and open to the public, and the event begins promptly at 9 a.m. at Riverside High School in Durham. Click here for directions to the school on Google Maps. There will be ample parking available in Riverside’s parking lot.
This is the ninth consecutive year that the Duke Office of Durham & Regional Affairs has organized and sponsored the regional bee for Durham and Orange county schools. The 60 spellers, ages 8 to 14, represent public, private, charter and home schools in the area. The spellers had to have won their school spelling bee to compete in the Duke University Regional Spelling Bee.
“We have dedicated students coming together on one stage, and it’s a powerful thing to witness the hard work everyone has put into their spelling,” said Lou Rollins, organizer of the Duke University Regional Spelling Bee. She is also the director of special projects for the Duke Office of Durham & Regional Affairs. “Even though only one speller will be crowned the regional champion, all of the students who have dedicated themselves to improving their vocabulary and literacy is a champion.”
On March 17, Rollins will serve as emcee of the spelling bee. Ginger Young, executive director of Durham nonprofit Book Harvest, will serve as pronouncer. Sam Miglarese, director of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, and Channa Pickett, senior program coordinator for the Duke Office of Durham & Regional Affairs, are the judges; Eliza Mathew, senior program coordinator of education initiatives for the Duke Office of Durham & Regional Affairs, will serve as record keeper.
The spelling bee will end at 12:30 p.m. or sooner, depending on when a regional bee champion is named. The champion, along with his or her family, will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C., courtesy of the Duke Office of Durham & Regional Affairs.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be May 27 through June 1. A detailed national competition schedule will be available on the Scripps website on May 1.
By April Dudash