March 8, 2014

The “Grate” Altus Spelling Bee is back in 2014. This year’s spelling bee promises to be the best yet. It is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, March 29, in the Band Room at the Western Oklahoma State College, starting at 1 p.m.

The first spelling bee for the Great Plains Literacy Council was held in 1999, and to this day, it continues to be their annual fund raiser. The “Grate” Altus Spelling Bee has become a signature community event that raises funds for the nonprofit organization and provides a great deal of entertainment and education for spellers and supporters alike.

The spelling bee will be a lighthearted competition among teams of 2 or 3 adults representing clubs, military organizations, schools, churches, and businesses from the area. Not only will competition recognize the best spellers as a team, but a lot of effort also goes into the competition for the best costumes and best team names. Also a special award goes to the top military team. It is important to respond quickly and get teams registered at the Altus Public Library, 421 N. Hudson, by March 24.

It will cost $100 for a team. As soon as the entry form and entry fee are completed, the rules and word study resources are available. The team can work together in spelling the word at the contest. Donations by individuals or groups without spelling teams also contribute to the fundraising efforts.

If a team wishes to skip a word given and select the next word, the team can use a mulligan (a word pass). The team can purchase three mulligans for $25 before the day of the contest or pay $35 at the spelling bee. In the preliminary rounds, teams will be dropped when a word is spelled incorrectly or they have used their three-limit mulligan rule. Only one mulligan can be used in a single turn. In the final round, no mulligans can be used.

Door prizes will be available throughout the contest. Everyone who comes to the spelling bee will be eligible for door prizes. Winners must be present when announced. There is no admission fee for the public to attend the event. Ground support like cheerleaders or pep clubs may perform once during the spelling bee to applaud their team.

The Great Plains Literacy Council is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to helping area adults improve reading, writing, and speaking skills of the English language. For more information or questions about the “Grate” Altus Spelling Bee, please call 580-477-2890. Remember, everyone’s a winner when it comes to supporting literacy, and you can see how it is an “unbeelievable” event by coming to the spelling bee!