The nation readies for the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee

Thu, May 19, 2016 by Valerie Miller

CINCINNATI – More challenging words, more prize money and fun new events await 285 spellers competing for the coveted title of champion of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Spellers from across the U.S. and other parts of the world will descend on the Washington, D.C., area next week for an epic battle against the dictionary.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee, presented by Kindle, will take place May 24-26 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

The spellers who advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee have beaten the odds to reach this level. They are among the top 0.000026 percent of more than 11 million students who initially participated in spelling bees held in classrooms, schools and locally sponsored events around the country.

“The Scripps National Spelling Bee has flourished in schools and on television,” said Paige Kimble, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. “We see on that stage bright, aspiring students who represent varied interests, experiences and cultures. When they reach that microphone, though, they all share the common challenge of spelling some of the most difficult words in the English language.”

The spellers come from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Schools in Europe. Eleven spellers represent the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.

The spellers range in age from 6 to 15. Seventy spellers previously competed in the National Finals. Twenty-nine spellers have relatives who previously participated, including two spellers whose brothers won the title in recent years.

New to the Bee:
There are many new experiences at the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee that all participants will enjoy for the first time.

• The traditional picnic this year will take place at the National Zoo.
• Monday night’s assembly will begin with an opening ceremony complete with music, lights, plenty of revelry and special guests.
• Kindle Corner is a new interactive space provided by Kindle that will feature a free deluxe cereal bar to fuel spellers’ brimming brains, a lounge area to relax and read a favorite book, an alphabet soup foam pit reserved just for kids, and a custom poster creation station where spellers can get their picture taken for their very own superstar poster to showcase at home.
• The Spellebrity Video Contest Premiere will be a fun celebration of the Finalists in the Spellebrity Video Contest. Five teams won an expenses-paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. During this Tuesday evening extravaganza, the audience will watch the winning videos and hear from the teams. The spellers will vote for their favorite video to determine which team wins the grand prize of $1,000 and a trophy for each team member.
• As the two-time winner of the Nielsen weekly Twitter TV ratings for the final week of May, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has a robust plan for sharing the competition and behind-the-scenes excitement that make Bee Week so memorable. In addition to Twitter competition posts and Facebook Live reports, fans of the Bee can engage on Instagram, YouTube and — new for 2016 — Snapchat (scrippsbee).

The Bee on ESPN:
For the 23rd consecutive year, ESPN and its family of channels will provide coverage of the Bee with hosts Kevin Negandhi, Paul Loeffler and Kaylee Hartung. Spellers will take to the stage for the first time on Wednesday, May 25.

• Preliminaries from 8 to about 11:45 a.m. EDT (watch live on ESPN3). • Preliminaries and announcement of Finalists from about 1:15 to about 4:45 p.m. EDT (watch live on ESPN3).

The Finals will take place on Thursday, May 26
• Finals 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m. EDT (watch live on ESPN2).
• Finals continue 8-10 p.m. EDT (watch live on ESPN).

“Bee” Informed:
A wealth of information about the spellers and the Bee is available at spellingbee.com. This includes profiles about each speller, past winners and their winning words, a sample test, fun facts and, during Bee Week, round results and regular competition updates.

About the Scripps National Spelling Bee:
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all of their lives. Visit spellingbee.com for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company.

About Scripps:
The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of television, radio and digital media brands. Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners, with 33 television stations in 24 markets and a reach of nearly one in five U.S. households. It also owns 34 radio stations in eight markets. Scripps also runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses, including satire and humor video and web brand Cracked, podcast industry leader Midroll Media and over-the-top video news service Newsy. Scripps also produces television shows including “THE LIST” and “The Now” and runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

About Amazon:
Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about.

Contacts:
For questions or general inquiries:
513-977-3040
Spellingbee.com/contact
Twitter.com/ScrippsBee

For media inquiries only:
Valerie Miller
Manager, External Communications
513-545-6474
Valerie.Miller@Scripps.com

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