OKLAHOMA CITY, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 – The Oklahoma City Thunder today announced the Thunder Regional Spelling Bee, presented by American Fidelity Assurance Co. The inaugural event will take place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in early March and will serve as a qualifying event for the Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer in Washington, D.C.

“The spelling bee is a staple of the educational experience, and we’re thrilled to now be involved and support Oklahoma students in this space,” said Christine Berney, vice president of Community Relations for the Thunder. “We hope the Thunder Regional Spelling Bee spurs a love for spelling, vocabulary and public speaking through friendly competition.”

Eligible schools will hold qualifying local bees in January, and local winners will go through a round of online testing in February to narrow the pool of students to 50 prior to the event at Chesapeake Arena.

Spelling bees have proven to help students develop the necessary skills for success in language comprehension and study techniques and help build self-confidence. The National Spelling Bee has been promoting literacy since 1925 and now reaches approximately 11 million students each year.

The Thunder Regional Spelling Bee will be open to public, private, charter and home-school students in grades K-8 within the 50-county Oklahoma region. The cost to register is $175 per school, and the fee will go directly to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The Thunder will cover the cost of participation for the winner of the Thunder’s 50-county region to attend the national event in Washington, D.C. in June. The Thunder regional winner will be joined by a Tulsa regional winner to represent Oklahoma on the national stage to compete for the highly coveted Scripps Trophy.

Registration for the Thunder Regional Spelling Bee is now open at spellingbee.com and will end Dec. 20. For more information and updates on the Oklahoma City Thunder Spelling Bee presented by American Fidelity Assurance Co., please visit okcthunder.com/spellingbee.