The 2012 regional spelling competition, The Bee, will be held Saturday, March 31, 2012 at East Central College. Thirty-nine schools are registered to participate by sending their school spelling bee champions from students in grades 4-8.

"Spelling Smarts," a special section that includes games, puzzles, activities and the 2012 Word Study List was published in the Jan. 7-8 issue of The Missourian. Click HERE to download a PDF of the section. Click HERE to download the weekly spelling series published October through December.

Click HERE to download a copy of rules for the 2012 Bee.

Below is information on the 2012 competition.

Ashley Roberts survived 16 rounds of The Bee, the first regional spelling competition organized by The Missourian, after handling what many observers felt were the toughest words of the inaugural regional spelling competition.

Thirty-two students from across the region competed in The Bee April 2, 2011, held at the John Edson Anglin Performing Arts Center on East Central College's campus. The contestants, in third through eighth grades, had previously won their school's spelling bee to earn the right to compete in The Bee.

The top 10 finalists also included: Garrick Ogle, Marthasville Elementary, grade four; Autumn Garlock, Beaufort Elementary School, grade six; Grace Ziehm, New Haven Middle School, grade eight; Nathaniel Murray, Crosspoint Christian School, grade four; Jacob Dorpinghaus, Our Lady of Lourdes, grade eight; Tyler Glosemeyer, St. Ignatius of Loyola School; grade four; Nathan Bargen, St. John the Baptist-Gildehaus School, grade eight and Jenny Applegate, Meramec Valley Middle School, grade six.