Can you spell G-R-A-N-D O-P-E-N-I-NG?

To celebrate the Grand Opening of our newest store in Edmond, Oklahoma, Half Price Books hosted its first ever kids’ spelling bee Wednesday evening before the store officially opened its doors on Thursday morning. We had a great turnout with participation from 27 4th-8th grade kids throughout the Edmond and OKC area.      

As the Bee began, contestants bravely approached the microphone to spell such stumpers as “lackadaisical,” “yeoman,” and “isosceles.” Many successfully spelled their tricky words round after round, and after gauging the audience’s reactions, it seemed that quite a few of the adults (including the judges) felt that they themselves could use a spelling refresher to perform as well as these kids. 

Despite the pressure, we kept the Bee as lighthearted as possible and rewarded our fearless spellers and their parents with fun door prizes between the rounds. All contestants received a spelling bee goodie bag with an HPB gift card for some sneak preview shopping. As the rounds progressed and the spellers began to dwindle, it was clear the competition was going to be a battle to the very end.

The final threeBy Round 9, we were down to our final three. Eighth grader Natasha walked away with our 3rd place prize as her sister Angela battled it out for first place with tough-as-nails competitor Ethan. After a couple of close calls (“rhinoceros” and “dermatophyte” are much trickier to spell than you might think), Angela correctly spelled “cardiomegaly” to win the Bee. She left with a $100 HPB gift card and her school received a $200 gift card to stock up on books for their library.

Cheyenne Middle School Media Director Julie Richards, Spelling Bee winner Angela, and Principal Susie Schinnerer accept the $200 HPB gift card for their school library. Beyond having fun and welcoming our new store to Edmond, HPB had a very important mission in organizing the Spelling Bee. For every correctly spelled word during the evening, HPB has pledged to donate $1 to the OKC Metro Literacy Coalition to increase literacy education for young adults throughout Central Oklahoma. Future spelling bees, here we come!

Congratulations to all of our Spelling Bee contestants (you’re all w-i-n-n-e-r-s!) and to our newest store in Edmond, Oklahoma

Did you ever participate in a spelling bee growing up? What is your favorite tricky word?

— Kate (and BW, of course)

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