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  • Aribah Morshed

PVS Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee is an annual spelling competition. In 1925, a few newspapers collaborated and hosted a spelling competition which has transformed over the years to a national competition, in which individuals from all over the United States, and sometimes from other countries, participate. Each student is required to participate in a round at the regional level before moving on to the national level.

Schools have multiple students interested in participating in the spelling bee, so our school and many others host both a grade level competition and a school-wide competition to narrow down the participants for the regional round. Students between grades 3 through 8 who are not older than 14 as of August 31st of the same year are eligible to participate in the competition. The participants are given a packet of words to study for each round: one for the grade, school, regional, and national level, and they are given an appropriate period of time to sstudy depending on the length of the packet. During a round, the contestant must say the word before and after they spell it and may ask for the definition, pronunciation, part of speech of the word as well as an example sentence with the word, so as to not have any miscommunication with the judge. They are not required to state any diacritical marks such as the apostrophe or hyphens. Words are not reused during rounds in the same level.

This year students were given word lists and details about the bee in early September so they could practice and prepare for the first two rounds set in October. Ms. Maysa Safi, the current coordinator for the PVS Spelling Bee, said PVS students exceed expectations year after year, despite the “extensive” word lists. In the case that all words are used during the spelling bee, the judges are directed to find more words through the Merriam Webster dictionary. The grade based contest dates vary depending on the teacher hosting it. The top three winners from each grade level move on to the next round. The schoolwide competition took place on Thursday, October 21st, 2021. There were 18 competitors participating at the school level. The winner, Farzaan Quadri, an 8th grader, and the runner-up, Eiman Siddiqui, a 6th grader, will continue to the regional level, which is taking place at the University of Memphis.

Pleasant View School students have competed in this competition for nearly twelve years. Last year, the PVS Spelling Bee winner was a 4th grader (current 5th grader), Mouhammad Sarr. Mr. Sarr entered the University of Memphis round, virtually because of Covid. He says when he won he felt excited, yet nervous, knowing he’d need to study more to prepare for the coming competition. Sarr is one of many students who have gone on to represent our school at a higher level in the spelling bee. We look forward to the school level competition and wish the best to all the participants!


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