Written by Colleen Maidhof, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 21 February 2014 00:00
Hundreds of local students, from fourth to eighth grade, competed Sunday, Feb. 10 at the third annual Hofstra Long Island Regional Scripps Spelling Bee, where the winning student gets to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.
John P. McKenna Elementary School student, Claire Russell, 11, from Massapequa Park, was one of the spell-binded competitors on hand at the event. She took to the stage ready for action, but she did battle a few butterflies before taking on the Bee.Like many other students, she was nervous before the spelling began, but she braved the stage during the first round with confidence. Even though she got knocked out of the competition due to the difficulty of the words, she still enjoyed her time there.
She said the competition at the world-famous Bee is the most exciting part.
“I practice spelling at home, and I also like to read,” she said. “The competition is really exciting.”
The intense day began at 9 a.m. with a written exam. After, the students marched onto the stage, and they patiently waited to be called to the microphone to spell a word at random from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Every student wanted the chance to compete in the nationals. The national winner last year received an array of prizes including a $30,000 cash prize, a trophy, a 2,500 U.S. savings bond, and more.
About one-third of the students were eliminated after the preliminary round, which consisted of spelling one word.