Bee has students in fourth through eighth grades

One student from Three Rivers Charter School has qualified to compete Saturday in the Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee. Winners Saturday will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C ., which begins May 28.

Taking part in the local competition at the Hollywood Theater in Portland are 56 area students. Three Rivers’ Natalie Cha, 10, advanced with the word “advantageous.”

Part game show, part reality TV (without the TV), nervous energy will be in the air as the local students vie for the opportunity to compete at the national event. Saturday’s regional competition begins at 10 a.m. The winner 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.

The regional bee has students in fourth through eighth grades from Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties in public, private, alternative and home school groups participating after winning their individual school bees. Participants Saturday will be tested 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 a contributing reporter to OPB Radio.

The Portland Tribune launched the Regional Spelling Bee in 2002 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 national event.

To compete in the national bee, students must be sponsored by local newspapers. 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 documentary movie “Spellbound,” and more recently by the movie “Akeelah and the Bee.”

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