Correction This story was edited on March 25 to correct the spelling of the 5th Grade Spelldown winner’s last name.
The Philadelphia Tribune hosted the 25th annual Scripps Regional Spelling Bee at the School of the Future in West Philadelphia on Saturday.
The spelling bee is the nation’s leading youth academic event that aims to promote literacy and language skills among children, all while letting kids have fun.
The Philadelphia Tribune has been co-sponsoring the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee since 1994. This year’s spelling bee was co-sponsored by AmeriHealth Caritas and the School District of Philadelphia.
Public, private, parochial, charter, virtual and home school students in grades fifth through eighth, from all across Philadelphia County, participated.
The first competition featured fifth-graders for the 5th Grade Spelldown. Twenty students competed. The winner of the 5th Grade Spelldown was Raghav Joshi, from Russell Conwell Middle Magnet School, who moved on into the regional competition, finishing among the final runner-ups.
“I’m happy, but I’m nervous for the next one,” he said.
The regional competition featured 24 students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Competing students came from schools such as Philadelphia Academy Charter, C.C.A Baldi Middle School, AMY Northwest Middle School, Grover Cleveland Mastery Charter School, and G.W. Childs Elementary School.
The winner of the regional bee was Sadie Leary from Cedarbrook Middle School.
Sadie Leary won a trophy, a laptop computer, a one-year subscription to Britannica Online, a one-year subscription to Merriam Webster Unabridged Online and earned an opportunity to compete at the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., on May 26-30. Both her and her guardian’s travel expenses will be underwritten by the Philadelphia Tribune.
“It’s a pretty crazy experience,” she said. “I am excited for the national spelling bee.”
The runner-up was Thomas Nguyen from Philadelphia Academy Charter School. Nevan Hicks, a student from AMY Northwest Middle School, placed as the second runner-up of the regional competition.