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First Literacy to host spelling bee to promote adult literacy

As it prepares to host its 32nd annual spelling bee, First Literacy of Boston is inviting the general public to form teams and participate in next month’s hybrid competition.

The nonprofit adult education program usually relies on corporate teams to take part in the bee, its largest annual fund-raiser, officials said in a statement last week.

Now teams of three players are eligible to compete for a $3,500 entry fee, according to the statement.

Book groups, houses of worship, and other community groups are encouraged to take part to support adult learning and basic education programs.

“For decades, First Literacy has empowered adult learners and their teachers,” said Terry Witherell, executive director of First Literacy. “The Spelling Bee is a huge reason First Literacy is able to continue creating life-changing educational opportunities. This year we are excited to expand the event and open it to members of the community that are interested in testing their spelling skills and supporting our cause.”

The event is scheduled for April 7 at 6 p.m. Former WBZ radio morning anchor Josh Brinswanger will again serve as emcee and David Jost, former editor of the American Heritage Dictionary will serve as chief judge, First Literacy said.


The hybrid event will include pre-recorded portions and live components for participants. And the public is encouraged to follow along for free by using the First Literacy Spelling Bee App, the organization said.

Over the years, First Literacy has raised over $3.6 million from the spelling bee. The money is essential to its mission of educating adult learners, recent immigrants and others with low literacy rates.

The organization also provides free professional development workshops, scholarships for adult students in college of vocational programs, and grants for Adult Basic Education pilot programs, the organization said.

For more information, visit firstliteracy.org.


Madison Mercado can be reached at madison.mercado@globe.com.