93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee, USA cancelled due to COVID-19

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Scripps National Spelling Bee, USA has had to cancel the 93rd edition of the programme due to the ongoing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus and uncertainty around when public gatherings will be possible or advisable.

On March 20 this year, the 2020 edition of the programme, which had been slated for May 24-29, was suspended with hopes of rescheduling. Scripps National Spelling Bee, USA has determined there is no clear path to safely set a new date for the 2020 edition. The health and safety of all participants is the top concern and fundamental basis for the decision.

In a communique to all its affiliate partners and families across the world, and signed by Executive Director, Paige Kimble, Scripps National Spelling Bee states: “We know this is difficult information to share with your Spellers and there will be a great disappointment.

We also recognize the amount of time and effort dedicated to supporting your Speller’s zest for learning and competition. We hope you are all comforted by the fact that the skills and knowledge gained through [their] spelling bee participation, will help them achieve success for the rest of their life.”

In Ghana, The Spelling Bee is an affiliate partner of Scripps National Spelling Bee, USA. Nadia Mashoud of Alhassan Gbanzaba Memorial School in Tamale, Northern Region- who emerged as the 2020 champion in Ghana- was to have represented the country at the now-cancelled event.

A message from the Country Director of Young Educators Foundation – organisers of The Spelling Bee- Eugenia Tachie-Menson on news of the cancellation noted that “It is with a heavy heart that we reached out to Nadia’s family and School Head, to break this unfortunate news to them.

Whilst we all are disappointed, we very well understand and appreciate the circumstances bringing about this cancellation. We will continue to engage with Nadia’s family and school, as well as our sponsors to find alternative ways to make her championship year more memorable.”

With the announcement of this cancellation, the next edition of The Spelling Bee starts Friday, May 1, 2020.  The Spelling Bee has developed digital resources for teachers and parents to use in a virtual environment for students at home. The 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee is scheduled for June 1-3, 2021, in National Harbor, Maryland-USA.

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