Campus to Buzz With Spellers
UT Dallas Sponsoring Regional Showdowns Before National Spelling Bee
Dec. 1, 2008
If birds of a feather flock together, do bees of a similar spelling caliber congregate?
Pardon Our Progress
The University is this year’s presenting sponsor. Whataburger and Southwest Airlines are also sponsors.
The Spelling Bee is open to students in fourth through eighth grade in public, private, parochial, home and charter schools in the 38-county Dallas region. Schools decide whether to participate in the bee each fall. Thirty students competed in the regional contest last year.
The winner of the regional bee will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 26 and 27.
Before North and East Texas’ most spectacular spellers meet at the regional bee, they’ll compete at county bees. As a major sponsor of the regional spelling bee, the University also will host two Dallas County contests this year; the private school competition will be held Thursday, Feb. 12, and the public schools bee will be Thursday, Feb. 26. Both events are to be held at the University’s Conference Center. The Dallas County bees have been sponsored by Dallas County Schools for more than 25 years.
The bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and sponsors.
The Louisville Courier-Journal started the event with nine contestants in 1925. In 1941, Scripps assumed sponsorship of the program. There was no Scripps National Spelling Bee during the World War II years of 1943, 1944 and 1945. Co-champions were declared in 1950, 1957 and 1962. Of the 84 champions, 43 have been girls and 41 have been boys.
Although bees have been in existence since a spinning bee was held in 1769, there is no widely agreed-upon explanation for why these contests are called bees. A popular theory is that the term “bee” refers to the congregation of humans which occurs much in the same way as the honey-making, stinging insects.
The county bees are open to the public. Parking and seating are limited; however, DART bus service is available. To ride, take the DART Light Rail Red Line to the Bush Turnpike Station. Transfer to the UT Dallas Comet Cruiser, DART Route 883, which operates from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday.