School Enrollment Opens for 2015-2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee

Wed, August 26, 2015 by Valerie Miller

CINCINNATI – The back-to-school season is upon us, and for the tens of thousands of schools that enroll with the Scripps National Spelling Bee each year, it marks the first step on the journey to Washington, D.C. Enrollment with the Bee gives schools the opportunity to send their students to further levels of competition, including local area bees and even the national finals in May. However, as the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program, the Bee has proven itself as more than a competition for children; it is a classic element of Americana.

“Society values good spelling, vocabulary and English usage, and the 11 million students who take part in the program this year will come away with the words they need for success in life,” said Paige Kimble, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. “Participating schools have the opportunity to start or continue a celebrated academic tradition and provide recognition for their students’ achievements — from the classroom white board to school websites and local news reports to ultimately the bright lights of a national primetime audience.”

School enrollment kicked off on August 17 at the newly revamped Teachers, school administrators and parent support groups can complete the enrollment process online through mid-December, although the early-bird enrollment period ends on October 15. During this early-bird period, the enrollment fee is $136 per school.

Through the website, teachers and parents also have the ability to determine if a school is enrolled by using the enrollment search tool.

Once enrolled, teachers and administrators have access to a virtual bee-in-a-box, with everything they need to run a classroom or school spelling bee:

• Online access to the teachers-only section of (sample) • Official study lists for students, organized by grade level (sample) • Study materials for each school spelling champion (sample) • The 2016 Classroom Pronouncer Guide (sample) • The 2016 School Pronouncer Guide (sample) • Materials to conduct a Great American SpellCheck fundraiser (sample) • Award certificates (sample) • A free one-year subscription to Britannica Online for Kids (a $69.95 value) to use as a spelling bee prize

Through spelling bees completed at the classroom, school and local levels, the initial group of 11 million participants from coast to coast and around the globe will be narrowed down to about 275 expert spellers who will compete May 24–26 at the 89th annual National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

In May 2015, for the second year in a row – and the fifth time overall – co-champions were declared at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Vanya Shivashankar, a 13-year-old speller from Olathe, Kansas, spelled “scherenschnitte,” which is defined as “the art of cutting paper into decorative designs.” Shivashankar became the first champion in the history of the competition to be the sibling of a former champion; her sister, Kavya, won in 2009. And Gokul Venkatachalam, a 14-year-old speller from Chesterfield, Missouri, correctly spelled the word "nunatak,” which is defined as “a hill or mountain completely surrounded by glacial ice.” The primetime competition on ESPN led to the Bee being the most tweeted show of the week.

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 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 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 podcast industry leader Midroll Media, over-the-top video news service Newsy and weather app developer WeatherSphere. Scripps also produces television shows including The List and The Now, runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and serves as the long-time steward of the nation’s largest, most successful and longest-running educational program, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

Contacts: For questions or general inquiries: 513-977-3040

For media inquiries only: Valerie Miller, Manager, External Communications 513-977-3023

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