Scripps National Spelling Bee strengthens partnership with America's schools

Tue, December 02, 2008 by Tim King

CINCINNATI - Students who love to spell and hate to sell now have a new option for raising money for their schools through the "Great American SpellCheck," an academic-based fund-raising program designed to ensure that participating schools will benefit from 100 percent of the money they collect.

Created by the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the organization that has made spelling bees a schoolhouse tradition, the Great American SpellCheck involves students in grades 3-8 collecting pledges from family and friends for every word they spell correctly in the program's test. Supporters can opt to pledge 25 cents, 50 cents, $1, or $2 per correct word, or pledge a flat amount. One school that followed this fund-raising model efficiently raised $6,000.

The Bee makes it easy for schools to raise money through the Great American SpellCheck by providing word lists, study sheets, pledge sheets, test forms, instructions, and communication templates.

"As a mother of two, my children are asked to raise money for their schools by selling items I often neither want nor need," said Paige Kimble, director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. "In many instances, the school receives less than 50 percent of the sales. In these challenging economic times, families are more cautious about what they buy, and schools need additional revenue. With the Great American SpellCheck, parents know the money is going toward a good cause - their children's education - and all of the money raised benefits the school."

Schools already enrolled with the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee have access to Great American SpellCheck materials at no extra charge. Schools that have not enrolled with the Bee can participate after paying the materials and enrollment fee of $99, which also provides myriad educational materials and prizes for a school spelling program valued at $150. The deadline for enrollment with the Bee is Dec. 19.

"We've made it easy for schools to sign up for the Bee and Great American SpellCheck," Kimble said. "Teachers, school administrators, parents, and parent-teacher groups can go to to learn more and enroll their schools."

The Great American SpellCheck is an extension of the Scripps National Spelling Bee's commitment to helping students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational promotion. The competition is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E. W. Scripps Company, based in Cincinnati, and 287 local sponsors.

About Scripps

The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse, 130-year-old media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers, local news and information web sites, and licensing and syndication. The company's portfolio of locally focused media properties includes: 10 TV stations (six ABC affiliates, three NBC affiliates and one independent); daily and community newspapers in 15 markets and the Washington, D.C.-based Scripps Media Center, home of the Scripps Howard News Service; and United Media, the licensor and syndicator of Peanuts, Dilbert and approximately 150 other features and comics. For a full listing of Scripps media companies and their associated Web sites, visit

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