Countdown to the National Spelling Bee begins! Watch on ESPN May 29 through 31

The countdown to the National Spelling Bee has begun! Preliminaries are scheduled for May 30, with Finals being held on May31. This year, 278 spellers will compete for the title of 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

Want to watch? The full competition schedule is as follows:

Round One Test
Various times throughout the morning
Tuesday, May 29

Preliminaries
Wednesday, May 30, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Live on ESPN3.com

Semifinals
Thursday, May 31, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT
Live on ESPN2

Championship Finals
Thursday, May 31, 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EDT
Live on ESPN

The National Spelling Bee is sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Company. It is open to students in grades 1-8 as of their school finals (February 1) and who are under age 16 as of the date of the national finals (June 1).

The champion wins a total of $28,000 in cash prizes and scholarships. The second place finisher wins a cash prize of $6,000, the third place finisher receives $3,500, the fourth place finisher receives $2,000, the fifth place finisher receives $1,250, the sixth place finisher receives $1,000, and the seventh place finisher receives $750.

There are also assorted other prizes ranging from $50 to $600 for students who are eliminated in earlier rounds. For more information, call 1-513-977-3040, fax 1-513-977-3800, or send email to .

For 27 years, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics Inc. has been recognized as the undisputed leader in one-on-one tutoring in Delaware. In addition, the company offers a unique Department of Education-approved Private School for grades K-12 and a Private Business and Trade School for ages 16 and older. Back to Basics is the 2010 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

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