Although the Scripps National Spelling Bee won’t take place until June, plans for the event are well underway, and there was a big announcement this week: LeVar Burton will host the televised semifinals and finals!
Organizers of the spelling bee, first launched in 1925, believed the accomplished actor, director, educator and beloved lifelong children’s literacy advocate to be the ideal candidate.
“The selection of Mr. Burton as host aligns with the mission of the Scripps National Spelling Bee,” Dr. J. Michael Durnil, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, said in a statement. “To have such a prominent advocate for children’s literacy involved in this special and unique competition is a perfect match. We have the same goals: to educate tomorrow’s leaders and build reading competency in all young people.”
Burton was the host and executive producer of PBS’s “Reading Rainbow” from 1983 to 2006. He is also known for his starring role as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed television miniseries “Roots” in 1977 and as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” from 1987 to 1994.
Burton, who will also serve as grand marshal of the Jan. 1, 2022, Rose Bowl Parade, is looking forward to the event.
“Hosting the Scripps National Spelling Bee will be an honor,” Burton said in a statement. “Like a lot of folks, I look forward to the competition every year and am excited to be a part of this wonderful tradition that celebrates excellence.”
In its 94th year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee will be televised live on ION and Bounce network. Both are available to cable, streaming and over-the-air television viewers free of charge. The televised semifinals will air on June 1, and the finals will air live on June 2, 2022. The events will be held near Washington, D.C.
For more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, visit spellingbee.com.
Simplemost and the Scripps National Spelling Bee share a parent company, The EW Scripps Company.