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Spandana Spelling Bee is organized to meet the following goals:

  • To set a platform for students in Bay Area to improve skills associated with good spelling habits.
  • To help students to enhance their competitive skills under pressure.
  • To provide an opportunity for students to understand their skills and capability in spelling.
  • Help students get acquainted with Spelling Bee competition to be able to help them compete in national spelling bee competition(s).
  • To raise funds through registration and sponsorships and help the underprivileged students in India for higher education.
  • To create awareness in community about Spandana and its activities and also to encourage youth to participate in volunteering and social giving.



  • This competition is designed for students studying in grades 1st – 8th in any public and private schools in Bay Area, California.
  • Students must register within the scheduled date and time to be eligible for participation.
  • Participant must have paid required participation fee as mentioned in the Registration & Fee section below.

Registration & fee

To participate in the Spandana Spelling Bee 2017, you must register at Spandana website at the below link. Please follow the deadlines of the registration. Registrations after specified date and time will not be accepted.

Participation Fee:

Until 15th February 2017: $25

From 26th February 2017 through 7th March 2017: $30


Last date for registration: 7th March 2017 11:00PM or 300 total participants whichever comes first.



No refund is given for the registration fee in case the participant could not attend the spelling bee for any reason. Only in case of cancellation of Spandana Spelling Bee 2017 or if the date is changed and the registered participant could not attend the Spelling Bee on the changed date, complete registration fee will be refunded.


There are 3 categories based on the grade of the student.

Junior Bee                          - 1st grade to 3rd grade

Intermediate Bee              - 4th grade to 5th grade

Senior Bee                          - 6th grade to 8th grade



San Ramon, CA 94582



Date: 11th March 2017 (Saturday)

The competition starts from 8:00AM and ends by 7:00PM

Written Test – Will be notified in later communication.

Oral competition - Will be notified later in later communication.


Top 3 spellers will be announced as winners in each category. We will also recognize 3 winners in each grade.

Awards & Certificates

All the participants in Spandana Spelling Bee 2017 will be given “Certificate of Participation” from Spandana Foundation. Trophies will be presented to all winners in all the 3 categories and all grades.

Dress Code

All students are requested to come with proper attire and dressing. Sloppy, immodest, or inappropriate dress is not encouraged for the event.


Spandana Spelling Bee 2017 event committee will provide approx 600 words list for each category that you registered for. The words for spelling bee contest will not necessarily be from this list of 600 words but will help participants as a reference document. The list of words in spelling bee contest can be from outside of the word list provided. But it is expected that approx 50% of the words may come from the wordlist provided. This will help all participants to have equal opportunity and competitiveness to win the Spelling Bee competition. The 600 wordlist will be given to all participants in each category. No participant will ever get complete list of words that will be used by judges during the competition.

Sample list of words for all categories will be found at


There will be 3 judges in the Spelling Bee. Details are as under:

  1. Head Judge – Facilitate the Spelling Bee and announces the final decision
  2. Laptop Judge – Captures the word spelled as is by the participant on laptop
  3. Pronouncer - Pronounces the word as per the spelling bee standards

All three judges share responsibility for making decisions.


Parent volunteers, Spandana volunteers and youth volunteers from neighboring schools will work on various tasks during the event. Volunteer’s influence will not be there on the judge’s decision throughout the contest.

Competition Format & Rules

Spandana Spelling Bee 2017 competition will be in 2 phases.

  1. The first phase is Written Spelling Contest (Closed room )
  2. The second phase is Oral Spelling Contest (On the stage)

All the categories will have both the phases in the competition.

There will be 25 words in written test.

NEW Top 50% of the participants or top 50 participants whichever is lower in each category from the written test will proceed to next phase of competition (Oral round). In case if participants get same score in written test (in case of tie-breaker), participants with same score will be eligible to go to next level. Word list for the written test will not be shared with any participants till the exam time. The written test will have words from the wordlist provided to participants and also from outside the wordlist.

The judges will do evaluation of the written exam immediately after the exam and the list of participants who goes to next level will be announced immediately. The score will not be shared with any parents. Exam papers will not be given to parents or participants.

Only the Spandana judges, pronouncers and specified volunteers are allowed in the exam hall. No spectators are permitted in the exam hall.

Oral Spelling Contest:

Every participant will be given a randomly choosen numbered cards during the registration process. This card will be worn visibly and will determine the order in which students compete in each category. They will also be used for contestant identification by the judging panel.

There may not be any practice rounds in the contest.

Only the Spandana judges, pronouncers and specified volunteers are allowed on the stage. No spectators or video/photographers other than Spandana representatives are permitted on the stage. Spectators are permitted to observe the Spelling Bee competition.

Phase two (the Oral part of Spelling Bee) will take place one category level at a time.

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and its addenda section, copyright 2002, Merriam-Webster, will be the official dictionary of the Spandana Spelling Bee. Spandana Spelling Bee will serve as the final authority for word spelling and pronunciation.

  • If a word has two or more accepted spellings, the spelling listed first will be accepted as correct.
  • Some words on the list may not appear directly in the dictionary (plurals, possessives, etc.). Accepted rules for these words will apply.
  • Words shall be pronounced according to the diacritical markings in the dictionary, from which the Pronouncer shall select the definition or definitions that he gives.
  • The Pronouncer may give a fuller explanation of the meaning of the word to supplement the dictionary definition or definitions quoted.
  • The Pronouncer may also give the part of speech as well as alternative sentences, if needed.

Spelling Procedure


  • The Pronouncer will pronounce the word and gives the definition.
  • The participant will then pronounce the word, spell the word, and pronounce the word again.
  • The participant may ask for a sentence, etymology, and part of speech for the given word.
  • The Head Judge will have the responsibility for stopping the student if he/she fails to pronounce the word or if the student pronounces the word incorrectly.
  • Pronouncing the word before and after is not mandatory but encouraged.


  • Having started to spell a word, a student may stop and start over, retracing  the spelling from the beginning. However, in the retracing, there can be no change of letters and their sequence from those first pronounced.
  • If any letters and/or their sequence are changed in the respelling, the speller will be disqualified.

Spell-Bee Elimination (all rounds)

  • When a participant misspells a word, he/she immediately drops out of the contest. The next word is given to the next participant.
  • Top 3 spellers will be announced as finalists of the Spandana Spelling Bee.

The participant is encouraged to:

  • Pronounce the word before spelling. This is to ensure that the student has heard the correct word.
  • Look at the Pronouncer when spelling the word.
  • Spell the word orally. Participants will not be allowed to write the word before spelling it.
  • Pronounce the word again after the word is spelled.
  • Speak clearly and loudly. The officials' decision is final in determining the correctness of the spelling, which may be misunderstood if not spoken clearly.
  • The participant may ask for any pronunciation, meaning, or sentence to be repeated for clarification before spelling. If a participant takes undue advantage of this rule, the Pronouncer/Head Judge will advise him/her accordingly.


  • The participant shall have 30 seconds from the time he/she pronounces the word until he/she must begin spelling the word. If the participant is unable to start spelling, at the end of the 30-second period, he/she shall be reminded by the Pronouncer, who will be informed by the Head Judge (Timekeeper).
  • Once the participant begins spelling the word he/she will have 30 seconds to complete the spelling of the word.
  • A participant will be disqualified if he/she does not follow the above listed timing rules.


In any circumstances, no one from audience should approach the judges’ panel. It is the responsibility of the participant to pose any question relating to the spelling of the word by requesting permission to approach the judges only when it is their turn in the contest. This should not happen when other participant is already given word to spell. All the judges have the access to the word list, the official dictionary, the rules of Spandana Spelling Bee and Spelling Bee record sheet. If the challenge cannot be resolved from one of the above resources, the Head Judge will call for a brief time-out to confer with the other judges. The judge’s decision shall be final and no appeal or confrontation or argument is entertained.

General Procedures

  • No talking will be allowed either among the participants or among the audience. This will distract participants and judges.
  • No assistance from audience is given to any participant. If a participant receives assistance from anyone in the audience, he/she will be disqualified. We expect highest dignity and respect from all participants and audience to encourage all the kids to win the contest.
  • We request the audience to remain seated all the time when Spelling Bee in progress. We will have breaks between the competition and it is expected that participants and audience use those breaks. This will help participants to have better focus and improve their winning chances.

About Spandana Foundation

In Aug 2005, a group of like-minded individuals came together to think of ways in which they could be of help to the society. Although, the consensus was to do something in our respective home towns/villages/cities, we were not very sure how to execute. As a start, we responded to support the needy people based on published articles on Internet editions of Indian newspapers. Gradually we realized the difficulties of executing the projects in India remotely from USA. This led to exploring the possibility of tie-ups with non-profit organizations both in India and USA to help us in efficient execution of the different projects in our hometowns. However, our search resulted in a conclusion that there was no entity with grass roots presence to help us in executing the charitable projects in India and we strongly felt the need to establish an organization with grassroots in the community.

Learn more about Spandana Foundation at


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