The winners of individual school bees held in the fall and winter compete in the HCLS Spelling Bee in March. The champion advances to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. The HCLS Spelling Bee is sponsored by Friends of Howard County Library System, Howard County Public School System, and BB&T. It is organized under the rules of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and registered with Scripps National as an official regional bee.
Spelling bees improve students’ spelling, increase their vocabularies, and develop correct English usage.
- Students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English. As a result, they read and write more effectively and score higher on standardized tests and college prep tests and beyond. The impact lasts a lifetime.
- Students learn word etymology and country of origin, the meanings of prefixes and suffixes, and spelling rules.
- By studying words grouped in thematic categories, spellers not only acquire knowledge but also develop cognitive skills and increased understanding of ideas and values.
- Students of all ages and background participate on an equal, competitive basis.
- Spelling bees improve spelling and spark interest among the students.
- Spelling bees create friendly, sportsmanlike rivalry among the schools.
Spelling bees progression is as follows:
- Level 1: Classroom Spelling Bees held
- Level 2: Level 1 winners compete in school or home school association spelling bees
- Level 3: Level 2 winners compete in the HCLS Spelling Bee
- Level 4: The Level 3 champion competes in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC
Levels 1 and 2 winners are determined by the entity holding the bee. A panel of judges selected by HCLS determines the winner of Level 3.
Prizes for Levels 1 and 2 bees are determined and awarded by the organizing entity. Prizes for the HCLS Spelling Bee are awarded by HCLS the evening of the competition:
- All contestants and alternates receive certificates of participation.
- The first place winner receives a trophy (as does his/her school), a $1,000 college scholarship, and the opportunity to represent Howard County in the National Spelling Bee, all expenses paid.
- The second place winner receives a trophy (as does his/her school), a $750 college scholarship, and the opportunity to represent Howard County in the National Spelling Bee, all expenses paid, should the winner be unable to compete.
Interested schools and home school associations should fill out the INTENT TO PARTICIPATE by September 29.
The SCHOOL/ASSOCIATION WINNERS REGISTRATION FORM should be filled out and submitted by January 27.
Information for school/association spelling bee coordinators is available in the COORDINATOR’S HANDBOOK (PDF).
If you have questions, please contact:
Howard County Library System, 9411 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City, MD 20141
TTY Phone: 410.313.7740