Participation in most national finals experiences in sports, academics and other pursuits comes as a result of parents and/or booster organizations paying entry fees and all associated trip expenses. In the array of these competitions, the Scripps National Spelling Bee proudly stands as one who goes the extra mile in fostering a broad and deep long-standing national network of more than 250 local spelling bee sponsors — sponsors who, among many things, provide free trips for local spelling champions and their parents to participate in the national finals experience.

We’ve been in the business of fostering that network since 1925 – working with the nation’s finest newspapers, universities, television stations, community charities, school districts and more. Together, we’ve made possible more than 9,000 free trips to Bee Week. In 2018, the tradition will continue, with more than 275 free trips offered to winners of local spelling bee programs. This number is on par with our numbers going back to the early 90s. In 2018, the tradition will continue, with more than 275 free trips for winners of local spelling bee programs, representing an investment of at least $1.1MM from local program sponsors.

Through the years, in special circumstances we and our local sponsors have gone further. When we have learned of children who cannot avail themselves of the free trip because of extraordinary family hardship, we have stepped in, or facilitated others stepping in, to ease the hardship. In implementing RSVBee, we will listen closely for word of extraordinary need and, as we have done in the past, we will make efforts to ease the hardship.