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SAN RAMON (CBS SF) — As the Bay Area’s top spellers get ready to compete this Saturday in the CBS Bay Area Spelling Bee, some of them are no strangers to local spelling competitions.

In San Ramon, nearly 200 children competed in the Spandana Foundation’s spelling bee at Quail Run Elementary School in San Ramon.

The nonprofit started the annual Bay Area contest six years ago to increase South Asian students’ vocabulary and helps them fall in love with language.

But for some, this bee has offered another opportunity. Yudith Anil of Kolb Elementary in Dublin earned a spot in the CBS Bay Area Spelling Bee hoping to win a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The fifth grader has entered other contests like the Spandana Bee and county spelling bee for practice. “If I get out on a word, or I’m not sure about a word, when I go home I, like, search it up,” explained Anil.

Through their participation in the contests, the students get used to speaking on stage, according to Yudith’s father, Anil Vijayapal.

“Kids need to get comfortable talking, holding the mic, being in front of the mic, and be more comfortable to ask different questions,” Vijayapal said.

In the end, Anil concIuded participating in the Spandana contest was a good idea. “I’m pretty confident.” he stated.

The avid reader wasn’t the only one making his rounds on the spelling circuit.

Some of the top spellers at last year’s CBS Bay Area Spelling Bee have earned trophies at other spelling competitions.

Anil said he believed he would benefit regardless of how well he spelled. “Even if I lose in this spelling bee, it’s helping me for my next spelling bee,” he mused.

The Spandana Bee is also a fundraiser. Money from registration fees go toward educating underprivileged children India.


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