YA Spelling Bee

Brownell Library held a spelling bee with two teen teams, a staff team, and a trustee team. Kat Redniss, the Young Adult Librarian, printed out word lists from Scripps Howard and gave them to the teams a couple months in advance.

The teams created their own names and slogans, made t-shirts, and trashed talked each other playfully. Teams were able to get sponsors on their own. Sponsors, including local businesses, personal friends, and families, could donate any amount of money.

At the event, the Library held a bake sale with treats baked by staff and trustees, had a bowl out for donations, and held a raffle. People bought raffle tickets and then put their ticket into the container of the team they thought would win. The raffle winner was drawn from the bee winner’s container. The winner got a portion of the money and the library got the rest. (The winner gave most of the money back to the library.) Kat reports, “This was a blast, fun competition, literacy-oriented, and productive! Brownell Library raised over $1100.”

Need resources? Check out the Scripps Howard website for specific directions to hold one of their patented fundraising bees; or try the Merriam Webster website for Scripps Howard word lists. The Scripps Howard website includes ideas to build excitement such as dressing in black and yellow (bees) or showing the documentary “Spellbound.”


One response to “YA Spelling Bee

  1. Elizabeth Little Brave

    The Point Roberts Friends of the Library (based in Washington state) recently held a “Cookie Walk” based on your idea and model. It went very well, and we’re hoping to have it as an annual event. Thanks much for your website and great ideas!


    Friends of the Library
    Pt. Roberts, WA
    (part of the Whatcom County library system)

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