Crawford County Volunteers for Literacy will hold its fifth annual Adult Spelling Bee Thursday, Oct. 13, at Van Buren High School.

This year’s bee will begin at 6 p.m. in the VBHS Fine Arts Auditorium, said Dee Carroll, director of Crawford County Volunteers for Literacy.

“The adult spelling bee is meant to bring attention to literacy needs in our community and be a fun way for the community to participate,” Carroll said.

Volunteers with CCVL help area adults that have deficiencies in literacy skills and cannot read or write effectively enough to solve daily problems of life and living within the home, workplace and community, Carroll said. Proceeds go to benefit CCVL for daily costs and maintenance, he said.

CCVL services are free to the students, Carroll said.

“Without the fee for service, we have operational and instructional costs that have to be met in other ways,” Carroll said. “The annual fundraiser provides us the opportunity to offset expenses and keep the doors open.”

Teams of three are sponsored by local businesses or individuals, with a sign up fee of $175 per team. Signs with sponsors’ logos or names - including those who donate door prizes - are posted at the event.

“Any business or organization with a community spirit and an interest in helping adults learn to read, write, increase math skills, prepare for the GED test or earn citizenship can participate,” Carroll said.

Words for the spell-off will come from the Scripps National Spelling Bee website, with four categories, Carroll said. Words used will get progressively more difficult as the bee goes on, he said.

Teams can confer before spelling the word and are given 15 seconds to respond. The bee is single elimination, but teams will receive “mulligans” that will allow them to pass on two words. Trophies will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners.

A fun trophy will go to the “Furst Aut” team, the first to misspell a word and get knocked out of the competition.

“We will also have cheer teams representing those entered that will cause a real raucous each time their team spells a word correctly,” Carroll said. “The most supportive cheer team will also win a trophy at evening’s end.”

Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman and Crawford County Judge John Hall will sit as judges relative to questionable spelling or word definition.

Proceeds from the event will go toward general costs such as rent and utilities that cannot be paid for with the grants received by the non-profit organization, he said.

Local businesses donate the door prizes that will be given out throughout the bee. Raffle tickets will be sold at the door for $1 each or 6 for $5. Last year’s final drawing was for a Kindle tablet.

Tickets for door prizes will be $1 each or six for $5. Broadcast journalist Pedro Rivera with KHBS-KHOG-TV will call out winners intermittently during the bee, who will have the option to choose from any prizes on display.

For team entry or door prize donations please call (479) 474-4594 or email at