Biko Sheridan, a fifth grader at the Mundo Verde Public Charter School and the winner of the 38th annual Washington Informer Spelling Bee, poses with second-place winner Amni Amin, a sixth grade student at the School Without Walls @ Francis Stevens, following the competition on Feb. 29 at the studios of the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment in northeast D.C. (The Washington Informer)
Biko Sheridan, a fifth grader at the Mundo Verde Public Charter School and the winner of the 38th annual Washington Informer Spelling Bee, poses with second-place winner Amni Amin, a sixth grade student at the School Without Walls @ Francis Stevens, following the competition on Feb. 29 at the studios of the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment in northeast D.C. (The Washington Informer)

The DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) presents the 40th Annual Washington Informer City-wide Spelling Bee in partnership with The Washington Informer, Washington Informer Charities, and DC Public Schools for the third consecutive year.

Hosted by OCTFME “We Are Washington” host Cecily Fernandez and Justin Finch from NBC 4, the Spelling Bee will air Sunday, April 10, 2022, at 3 p.m. on District Knowledge Network (DKN).

“The Washington Informer City-wide National Spelling Bee is so important to the District. On behalf of our visionary Mayor Muriel Bower, residents of the District, and the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment, we are excited to support such a respected institution. We are pleased to partner with The Informer, its publisher Denise Rolark Barnes and DC Public Schools for the 40th Anniversary,” stated Dr. Angie M. Gates, Director, OCTFME. “Getting a child engaged at an early age in spelling and language is crucial for their future success.”

Each year, more than 2,000 elementary and middle school students from nearly 200 DC schools, including private, parochial, independent, charter, and home schools, participate in spelling bees at their individual school level. The winners go on to participate in the Washington Informer City-wide Spelling Bee. The Spelling Bee participants are narrowed down to the finalists, this year there are 33 finalists. The winner advances on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, held the week of Memorial Day at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Visit spellingbee.com beginning May 1, 2022, for a full competition schedule.

“Washington Informer Charities is proud to sponsor the D.C. City-Wide Spelling Bee for the past 40 years. Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, the founder of The Washington Informer, believed great readers evolve from good spellers. It is our mission to inspire students to become both. We are also excited and grateful to have OCTFME as the new home of the spelling bee. Together we will provide DC students a chance to demonstrate their outstanding academic skills before an audience of their friends, parents, teachers, and the entire DC community,” said Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher of the Washington Informer.

For over 40 years, the Washington Informer has sponsored the DC City-wide Spelling Bee, which began during the 1981-82 school year. The late Dr. Mary E. White, supervising director, DC Public School’s Division of Instructional Services, Department of English, sought participation for DC Public School students in the Scripps National Spelling Bee held annually in Washington, DC. Dr. White appealed to Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, President and founder of the United Black Fund, Inc. and Publisher of The Washington Informer newspaper. Dr. Rolark, along with his daughter Denise Rolark who was managing editor of the Washington Informer at the time, agreed to become title sponsor for the Spelling Bee. Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes is proud to continue the tradition.

“DCPS is so proud of all of the students and schools who chose to participate in this celebration of excellence! Thank you to the Washington Informer, OCTFME, and THEARC for their support!” said Jason Moore of DCPS.

Tune in to the Spelling Bee broadcast on Sunday, April 10, 2022, on OCTFME’s District Knowledge Network (DKN) at 3 p.m.

DKN is available on RCN Ch.18, Verizon Fios Ch. 12, and Comcast Ch. 99 or DKN live stream: http://video.oct.dc.gov/DKN/jw.html

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