Spelling Bees suspended

Spelling Bees suspended

LINCOLN – The Rhode Island State Spelling Bee, hosted annually by The Valley Breeze, is in limbo now due to the Covid-19 crisis that has closed local schools. The bee was scheduled for Lincoln Middle School on March 14, but was canceled the previous afternoon when the Lincoln School Department notified Breeze Publisher Tom Ward that the school could not be used and was closed.

Last week, the Scripps National Spelling Bee suspended their event, set for the week of May 24 in Washington, D.C. The Breeze, along with co-sponsors Navigant Credit Union, Hunter Insurance of Lincoln, Dave’s Marketplace, and Anchor Subaru-Nissan, sends the Rhode Island winner and a parent to the National Spelling Bee each year.

“While all of this is challenging,” said Ward, “we understand fully the problems Covid-19 had caused for Lincoln schools and the National Spelling Bee. But there’s a silver lining to the cloud,” said Ward. “With the National Spelling Bee suspended, we now have more time to conduct the state bee.”

Ward alerted all participants last week by email that The Breeze would take a one-month hiatus to see if conditions in the state improve by mid-April. “If things get better, we will be looking to set up a State Spelling Bee in May or early June, before school ends,” said Ward. The National Spelling Bee is considering all of its options post-suspension, including possibly moving the national bee to the fall, stated a press release.