The 1A (Mini) Spelling Bee + SpellPundit Online Bee Winner Navneeth Murali "Think about your very favorite childhood memory and the biggest dream you've ever had and the first time you really felt celebrated for who you are and how you met your best friend. For me, the Bee was all of those things," says Sylvie Lamontagne, a former Scripps competitor.

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The 1A (Mini) Spelling Bee + SpellPundit Online Bee Winner Navneeth Murali

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The 1A (Mini) Spelling Bee + SpellPundit Online Bee Winner Navneeth Murali

1A

The 1A (Mini) Spelling Bee + SpellPundit Online Bee Winner Navneeth Murali

The 1A (Mini) Spelling Bee + SpellPundit Online Bee Winner Navneeth Murali

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/865553988/865844387" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

1A's own spelling bee happened on our Facebook page on May 20 at 7 p.m. Eastern. Chris Tylec hide caption

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Chris Tylec

1A's own spelling bee happened on our Facebook page on May 20 at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Chris Tylec

Because of COVID-19, so many of the great events we look forward to in the spring have been canceled. That means no outdoor music festivals, no marathons, no graduation ceremonies—and no Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Scripps announced last month that they are canceling the Bee. It's the first time that's happened since World War II. That's pretty disappointing for the more than one million viewers who watch the Bee on ESPN each year—and an even bigger letdown for the spellers around the country who qualified.

So, 1A invited Scripps qualifiers Sanay Salvi, Gauri Ghandi, Lucy Heath and Vikram Goddla to participate in a virtual event last week, where we got to know them and challenged them to a couple rounds of spelling. All of the spellers are finishing up 8th grade, so according to Scripps' eligibility rules, this was their last year to participate in the National Bee. Hear highlights from our conversation with them, and our virtual mini bee.

Then, we speak with Navneeth Murali, the winner of a national online spelling bee organized by the spelling bee prep company SpellPundit.

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