JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Sports Council and WJXT are partnering with the Florida Theatre to bring the First Coast Spelling Bee to prime time.
The event, which is scheduled to be held Friday, March 9, will be broadcast live on Channel 4 in prime time.
The top two finalists from the 14-county Northeast Florida Region will qualify for the First Coast Spelling Bee. To participate, students must be in fifth to eighth grade and their school must be enrolled with the Scripps National Spelling Bee site. They must be under 15 years old as of Aug. 31, 2017.
"When this idea was presented to us, we thought, let's make this a big deal," said Alan Verlander, CEO of the Jacksonville Sports Council. "We talk about education in this community being an important part, let's make this spelling bee an important part. Let's raise the bar with it. Let's put it on live television. Let's put it in a historical venue and something that could be done in the classroom, make it a big deal."
The 2017 Regional Bee winner was Fruit Cove Middle school eighth-grader Sreeniketh Vogoti, who survived 51 rounds and whose winning word was "facade."
The winner of the First Coast Spelling Bee will qualify to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee as well as receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the competition which is broadcast live on ESPN.
More information can be found at the Jacksonville Sports Council website.
Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.