Part game show, part reality T.V. (without the T.V.), nervous energy will be in the air as a group of 56 Portland-area students vie for the opportunity to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., at the Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee.

The competition will heat up at Hollywood Theatre on Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m.

Two Sherwood students – Taryn Kelley of Archer Glen Elementary School and connie Williamson of Sherwood Charter School – are among the spellers competing.

The winner of the event earns an expense-paid week in Washington, D.C., and the right to compete in the Super Bowl of spelling bees, the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which begins on May 28.

Each year, the Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee invites fourth through eighth grade students attending Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas county public, private, alternative and home school groups to compete in the regional spelling bee. Students advance to the regional bee after winning their individual school bees.

The Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee will test the spellers on words from the 2013 Pronouncer Guide, the official word list provided by Scripps National Spelling Bee. The pronouncer for the regional spelling bee is Colin Fogarty, editor of Northwest News Network and contributing reporter to OPB Radio.

The Portland Tribune launched the Regional Spelling Bee in 2002 in order to give Portland-area students an opportunity to compete on a national level in an academic arena.

More than 250 students from around the country and the world compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. In order to compete in the national spelling bee, the student must be sponsored by a local newspaper. Along with competing in the bee, the winning student will have the opportunity to tour Washington, D.C. and participate in organized social events with other spellers.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee was started by The Louisville-Courier-Journal in 1925 with nine sponsoring newspapers and nine contestants. It was made famous by the thrilling documentary movie Spellbound, and more recently by the movie Aquilla and the Bee.

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