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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/SUBMITTED Brooklyn Thompson (right), a third grader at Northside Elementary, will be going to the Benton County Spelling Bee in Bentonville Jan. 12 after winning her school's event Dec. 7 in Decatur. Should Thompson be unable to compete, Jaylen Pham, a fourth grader at Northside, will take her place.

DECATUR -- Northside Elementary held its annual third- and fourth-grade spelling bee in the school cafeteria in Decatur on Dec. 7. In all, 25 students participated in the one-day event.

Brooklyn Thompson, a third grader at Northside, won the competition and advanced to the Benton County Spelling Bee to be held at White Auditorium on the campus of Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville on Saturday.

If Thompson is unable to attend the county spelling bee, alternate Jaylen Pham, a fourth grader at Northside, will take her place.

The concept of the spelling bee is simple. Each competitor is given a word to spell. If the student spells the word correctly, he or she advances to the next round. Students who misspell words are eliminated. The words get progressively harder until the last two competitors are left standing. Should one of the students misspell the assigned word, the other student has to spell the word correctly to win the spelling bee and advance to the county, state and national spelling bees.

The earliest known concept of the spelling bee dates back to 1808 and was called a "spelling match." These competitions were linked to Daniel Webster, the author of the first dictionary.

The first official spelling bee was started in 1925 in Louisville, Ky., by The Courier-Journal newspaper. Sixteen years later, in 1941, the Scripps Howard News Service took over the program and continues it today as the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The first winner of the 1925 contest was an 11-year-old named Frank Neuhauser.

General News on 01/09/2019

Print Headline: Northside's Thompson advances to Benton County Spelling Bee

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