12th Annual Spelling Bee

Sunday, April 7, 2019
1 to 7 p.m.
Brooks Auditorium

The Lincoln School Foundation is excited to host its 12th Annual Spelling Bee on Sunday, April 7, 2019 in the Brooks Auditorium. The Spelling Bee is open to all students in grades 3-6 who attend Smith, Brooks, or the Hanscom Schools, as well as residents of Lincoln or Hanscom A.F.B. who attend private school or are home-schooled. Students within the same grade will register as a two- or three-person team and compete against other grade-level teams. Participants will receive a Spelling Bee T-shirt and bag with Bee giveaways! This community event is a time for team building, cheering on peers, spelling words, and having fun!

Bee Tees

Did you know that one average-sized cotton t-shirt takes 713 gallons of water to produce? That’s about 3 years of a person’s drinking water! Also, according to the EPA, 11.1 million tons of textiles are thrown out in the U.S. each year.

Inspired by the Lincoln Red Gearticks Hydrodynamics Project, the Lincoln School Foundation is asking families to select a t-shirt size at least one size up when registering spellers, so spellers can rewear their Bee shirts for multiple years. Each year, spellers will receive an iron-on patch that is unique to that year’s Bee to add to their shirt.

How did Bee come to Be?

The word bee, as used in spelling bee, is one of those language puzzles that has never been satisfactorily accounted for. A fairly old and widely-used word, it refers to a community social gathering at which friends and neighbors join together in a single activity (sewing, quilting, barn raising, etc.) usually to help one person or family. 

The earliest known example in print is a spinning bee, in 1769. Other early occurrences are husking bee (1816), apple bee (1827), and logging bee (1836). Spelling bee is apparently an American term. It first appeared in print in 1875, but it seems certain that the word was used orally for several years before that.

Those who used the word, including most early students of language, assumed that it was the same word as referred to the insect. They thought that this particular meaning had probably been inspired by the obvious similarity between these human gatherings and the industrious, social nature of a beehive. But in recent years scholars have rejected this explanation, suggesting instead that this bee is a completely different word..

One possibility is that it comes from the Middle English word bene, which means "a prayer" or "a favor" (and is related to the more familiar word boon). In England, a dialect form of this word, been or bean, referred to "voluntary help given by neighbors toward the accomplishment of a particular task." (Webster's Third New International Dictionary). Bee may simply be a shortened form of been, but no one is entirely certain.

2019 Bee Registration

Registration closes on Friday, March 15. Entry forms and fees ($25 per speller/$20 per speller if rewearing t-shirt) may be submitted online or dropped off in any of the school offices. Scholarships are available. 

2019 Registration Form (PDF)

2019 Rules & Procedures (PDF)

Questions? Comments?

Contact: bee@lincolnschoolfoundation.org