By: Emma Chennault
The Scripps National Spelling Bee was first founded in 1925 by nine newspapers with the intention to host a singular spelling bee. Within the ninety years since the Scripps National Spelling Bee establishment, they have reached eleven million students each year from all different types of backgrounds. This event is held annually in the Washington, D.C. area and caters to mostly American students in the grades below High School. Over the years, the rules of this competition have been revised and the winnings have also increased. How the Spelling Bee is broadcasted has also transitioned from radio and the occasional television coverage to being aired on ESPN every year since 1994. This allows for more children to be exposed to a different kind of sport.
Zaila Avant-Garde Winning Word: Murraya
World Records: dribbling, bouncing, juggling
Zaila Avant-Garde is the winner of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. She outspelled eleven other finalists to claim this prestigious title. Zaila is fourteen years old and is from Harvey, Louisiana. She is the first African-American, the first winner from Louisiana, and only the second Black winner in the competition’s history. Zaila has been working very hard for the past two years to reach this point and is very excited to know that her hard work has paid off. Her win is even more impressive because she has only been competing in spelling bees for two years; other contestants compete for many years to get to where she is. Zaila explained that she tries to spell thirteen thousand words a day and that it usually takes her around seven hours to do so! Zaila’s talents do not stop at spelling; she is also a basketball prodigy and has aspirations to attend Harvard University and join the WNBA.