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The 1A (Mini) Spelling Bee

Watch live on our Facebook page on May 20 at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Watch live on our Facebook page on May 20 at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee may have been canceled due to COVID-19 — but we can still have our own spelling fun, right?

We’ll share highlights from a live virtual spelling bee we held on May 20 with four 8th graders from around the country who qualified for the National Bee. Eighth grade is the last year students are eligible to compete and the company decided not to amend that rule in light of this year’s cancellation.

From  Scripps National Spelling Bee’s executive director:

Our hearts go out to the spellers who won’t get their final shot at winning because of the pandemic and the difficult decisions it is prompting us to make. They are now part of a widely expanding group of children and adults who are missing out on opportunities due to the coronavirus.

Some are petitioning the company to extend eligibility, but we wanted to give these 8th graders their own shot at winning our mini spelling bee in the meantime. We challenged them to spelling rounds and talked about what life has been like since they started virtual learning from home. Even our national correspondent Sasha-Ann Simons got in on the fun. (At seven years old she won her local spelling bee in Kingston, Jamaica.)

And for all you spelling enthusiasts out there, the fun doesn’t have to stop with this event.Sasha-Ann will be hosting the finals of a virtual spelling bee on May 28  put on bySpellPundit, a spelling bee prep company. You can catch the finalson Facebook Live on Thursday, May 28 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Watch our (mini) spelling bee in full here or on our Facebook page.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.

Kathryn Fink, Amanda Williams