national spelling bee
This year 285 spellers competing for the coveted title of champion of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Spellers from across the U.S. and other parts of the world will descend on the Washington, D.C., area next week for an epic battle against the dictionary.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee, presented by Kindle, will take place May 24-26 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

The spellers who advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee have beaten the odds to reach this level. They are among the top 0.000026 percent of more than 11 million students who initially participated in spelling bees held in classrooms, schools and locally sponsored events around the country.

The spellers come from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Schools in Europe. Eleven spellers represent the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.

The spellers range in age from 6 to 15. Seventy spellers previously competed in the National Finals. Twenty-nine spellers have relatives who previously participated, including two spellers whose brothers won the title in recent years.

New to the Bee:
There are many new experiences at the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee that all participants will enjoy for the first time.

The traditional picnic this year will take place at the National Zoo. Monday night’s assembly will begin with an opening ceremony complete with music, lights, plenty of revelry and special guests.

Kindle Corner is a new interactive space provided by Kindle that will feature a free deluxe cereal bar to fuel spellers’ brimming brains, a lounge area to relax and read a favorite book, an alphabet soup foam pit reserved just for kids, and a custom poster creation station where spellers can get their picture taken for their very own superstar poster to showcase at home.

The Bee on ESPN:
For the 23rd consecutive year, ESPN and its family of channels will provide coverage of the Bee with hosts Kevin Negandhi, Paul Loeffler and Kaylee Hartung. Spellers will take to the stage for the first time on Wednesday, May 25.

Preliminaries from 8 to about 11:45 a.m. EDT (watch live on ESPN3).

Preliminaries and announcement of Finalists from about 1:15 to about 4:45 p.m. EDT (watch live on ESPN3).

The Finals will take place on Thursday, May 26

Finals 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m. EDT (watch live on ESPN2).

Finals continue 8-10 p.m. EDT (watch live on ESPN).

Geraldine Jensen

Publisher and Editor of Families Online Magazine. Our experts provide warm, loving, and generous advice for you, your family and children, no matter their age -- infants, school age, 'tweens, and teenagers. Features include:Parenting, Ages and Stages of Child Development, Child Support, Cooking, Health, Children's Books, Nutrition, Christian Parenting, Relationships, Green-living, Education and School

Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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