Build Buzz with a Community Spelling Bee Hot
Educational events are more than just fun community-builders, they also benefit residents in a concrete way by pushing children to excel academically and boost student morale.
Hosting a spelling bee in your community is a great way to encourage learning and healthy competition between residents. It’s also a great way to increase opportunities for marketing your community while opening up lines of collaboration with other local organizations and businesses.
1) Well in advance of the event, reach out to local businesses and bookstores to request donated prizes. This could include coupons for free meals or gift certificates for new or used books.
2) Be sure to advertise the event, and the awards, well in advance so that children have a chance to practice and prepare if they’ve never participated in a spelling bee before.
3) Have parent’s pre-register their children so that you can get an idea for the number of participants and their ages. This will help you choose age appropriate words. However, try to be flexible by including children who were not able to pre-register.
4) For a truly competitive spelling bee you are going to want to aim have at least 8-10 participants. Keep in mind, however, that the children will vary widely in age, so even though the kids are competing in the same spelling bee, you can use words that correspond with each child's age group.
5) Once you have all your participants registered, ensure everyone participating is familiar with the rules and what word lists will be used. These spelling bee organization tips will help you plan and organize, this site will also give you useful tips on how to manage the event.
6) If possible, create a special page on your website that has all the instructions and practice words well in advance so that children can get a feel for the activity and practice the words. Consider also reaching out to your local schools to get their word lists for the various grades.
7) Many communities have computers in the clubhouses and business centers - consider adding spelling games to the computers so children have access to additional learning tools. You may also want to ask your local librarian for suggestion of books, games, and other related materials that are available for checkout at your local library. PBS Kids has several spelling games for kids.
8) Share spelling tips for students and parents from the National Spelling Bee website with your community.
*BONUS* Invite residents to participate in a contest to design the spelling bee logo for your community. The winning design could be used on promotional materials as well as T-shirts you may want the staff to wear (or sell) on the day of the event.
Decorating for the Event
A fun way to decorate for the bee is to use a bee and flowers theme. Consider crafting giant bees to hang around the room along with smaller cute accordion folded bees:
Image source: Pinterest
You can also add some additional bees in a honeycomb (using recycled yellow Easter Eggs) as another fun idea!
Image source: Wonderful DIY
….along with giant balloon and tissue paper flowers.
Image source: Just One Mom Trying
Day of the Event
1) Ensure that you start on time to give maximum time to all participants.
2) Have simple snacks and water available for participants and parents.
3) Ensure that the PA system is in working order (if you have one) and make sure that you keep the event moving along.
4) Have all trophies, medals, other community donated prizes, and participation certificates ready.
5) Ensure someone is available to take pictures during the event. Also, encourage parents take pictures as well and share them on the community social media pages.
*BONUS* Ask a face painter to paint bees on participants and staff faces on the day of your spelling bee.
Image source: Nadia Art
After the event
1) Be sure to give proper recognition to all participants in a group shot, and also post the picture in the clubhouse.
2) Put together as special social post to recognize the finalists and winner(s) on social media to allow their proud parents to share the news!
3) Request feedback from participants and parents so you know what they liked best and what you can improve on for the next event.