Noun. A book containing a selection of the words of a language and their proper spellings, pronunciations and meanings. Example: Sukanya Roy read through the entire dictionary during summer break in preparation for the spelling bee.
Roy, 14, of South Abington Township, said it took her a few months to finish reading the dictionary, but even then her task was not complete. As she moved through the eighth grade at Abington Heights Middle School, Roy said when she came home each day she would complete her homework and then study portions of the dictionary with which she was not yet familiar. She also spent a lot of time studying word origins and patterns in languages.
Her hard work paid off, and not only is she the 2009, 2010 and 2011 winner of The Times Leader/Scripps NEPA Regional Spelling Bee, but she also won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2011.
According to its website, the National Spelling Bee was started in 1925 as a collaboration of nine different newspapers, and its sponsorship was acquired in 1941 by Scripps, a diverse media company.
Its purpose, according to the website, ‚??is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.‚?Ě
Roy said participating in the bee helped her to grow in many different areas, such as avoiding procrastination. ‚??As far as studying goes,‚?Ě she said, ‚??it takes dedication and hard work,‚?Ě two attributes that go along with doing well in any subject.
She‚??s found the things she learned from the spelling bee have also come in useful to her as a freshman at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston. She feels better prepared for her French class because of her language studies in preparation for the bee, and frequently recognizes difficult words in other classes, such as history and biology, that she wouldn‚??t have known the meanings of, were it not for the bee.
Roy said her favorite thing about participating in the bee was not winning, although that was exciting, but meeting new people and making new friends.
‚??Competing was a little nerve-racking,‚?Ě she said, ‚??but I enjoyed getting to know people.‚?Ě
She wished good luck to her friends participating in this year‚??s regional spelling bee, held at the Woodland‚??s Inn in Plains Township March 11. Roy was invited to attend by the Times Leader and presented the winner and finalists with their trophies.
Her advice to the contestants: ‚??Don‚??t be afraid to ask questions when you are at the microphone, because it really helps.‚?Ě
Another thing she found useful was the study guide found on the Scripps National Spelling Bee website, www.spellingbee.com and on www.merriam-webster.com. She said it helps to think about origins and patterns of words and not rush through the spellings, but take as much time as needed.
‚??Most importantly,‚?Ě she said, ‚??enjoy yourself. Have fun doing it.‚?Ě