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Top spellers will compete for state championship


CONCORD - Nearly 200 of the Granite State's top elementary and middle school spellers are preparing to gather here to compete in the New Hampshire State Spelling Bee, sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

The event is free and will be held at the Capitol Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 2, starting at 1 p.m. The student to emerge as the top speller will represent the Granite State at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

This will be the 60th New Hampshire State Spelling Bee organized by the New Hampshire Union Leader. Under a new format adopted last year, each school is sending its top speller directly to the state competition.

"The new format with finals on the big stage made for a really exciting spelling bee last year," said Union Leader Community Relations Manager Shannon Sullivan. "We look forward to bringing some of our state's brightest students together again this year, and we hope the public will come out to support them."

A longtime sponsor, the New Hampshire Elks Association, is continuing its support of the program by providing volunteers, as well as funding for the winner and a family member to travel to the national competition.

Additional sponsors include Granite State College, The Derryfield School and The Common Man Family of Restaurants, which is providing lunch for all the spellers and volunteers.

The state spelling bee format will mirror that of the national bee, which involves written and oral finals. After the written round in the morning, about 30 spellers will go on to the live oral round at 1 p.m. on the Capitol Center stage. Photos of all participating spellers appears in today's New Hampshire Sunday News in the Lifestyles section of the paper.

Additional information can be found at www.unionleader.com/spellingbee.

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