Upstate Students Going To National Spelling Bee - WSPA.com

Upstate Students Going To National Spelling Bee

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Spelling comes naturally to Able Birchfield and Kalika Bridwell. Birchfield recently won the Anderson Independent Mail Spelling Bee and Bridwell recently won the Spartanburg Herald-Journal Spelling Bee. Both wins qualified the kids to go compete at the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. next week.

"My first spelling bee competition was when I was in second grade," Birchfield says.

Birchfield came in second place in that first Bee. He was competing in the third and fourth grade competition.

Bridwell works hard at studying words, following in her siblings footsteps. Both her older brother and sister have competed in the National Spelling Bee.

"I'm pretty good at memorizing things, some times I can remember exactly what it looked like on the page," Bridwell says.

Bridwell focuses on studying each word's origin or etymology. She says knowing what language the word is from helps her figure out how it's spelled. She also spends time studying with her siblings and often she stretches while practicing.

Birchfield too can visualize the words he's learned in his head. He also studies the dictionary and makes flashcards of words he doesn't know.

"He knows a lot more words than I do," MeMe Birchfield says.

Both Bridwell and Birchfield deal with nerves when it comes to competition, but it hits them at different times.

"I get nervous before the competition," Birchfield says.

Birchfield, however, stays calm under pressure. His mom, Meme Birchfield, says her son has always been cool under pressure. For Bridwell, she deals with stage fright.

"I don't really like stages," Bridwell says.

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