The 7th annual Park Record Spelling Bee is nearly a month away, but local students in Wasatch and Summit counties are already hitting the book, the dictionary that is, in preparation for the big event.

The qualification process for the Spelling Bee will be the same as last year, according to Tania Knauer, Park Record Spelling Bee coordinator.

Qualification tests will be administered at participating schools on April 16. No previous exposure to the word lists will be available to students.

"It is preferred that students take the qualifying test at the school he or she attends, but if that is not possible, or they go to a school that does not have a test center, students may take the test at any other center," Knauer said. "We typically don't supply a study list to students for qualifications to prevent a memory challenge for students, adding spontaneity to the challenge."

Students, who are eligible to participate, must live in Summit or Wasatch counties or go to school in either county. The top 20-25 in each qualifying bee level will be invited to participate in The Park Record Spelling Bee on May 16, at the Egyptian Theater.

According to event coordinators, the competition is designed for students in the grades 2-7. Each grade-level bee represents eclectic types of students who exhibit one valuable common trait excellent spelling ability.

Schools in the area not affiliated with the PCSD, such as private and charter schools, fear not, testing can be done at any testing center listed below.

The competition follows the National Spelling Bee format according to Knauer. Students participating in the Bee, who qualify for the main event, will have the opportunity to study from a list compiled by event coordinators, Julie Glusker and Amy Fehlberg. The two said this helps keep students engage in intellectual and academic skills.

Words used in the spelling bee lists are compiled by the coordinators, who pull words from a wide variety of resources, including taking a close look at the Utah Core Curriculum and incorporating words from areas of study for each grade level.

"The process of coming up with the lists is actually quite an enjoyable challenge," Fehlberg said.

"We do a great job of recognizing all of our student athletes in Park City, but this is an opportunity to recognize kids who excel academically in the area," Glusker said. "Kids must like it because you see the same kids doing it over and over again."

For more information about The Park Record Spelling Bee visit www.parkrecordspellingbee.com .

Qualification Bee Test Centers on April 16th:

Ecker Hill International Middle School 6th/7th 8:00 AM

Jeremy Ranch Elementary School 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th 3:15 PM

McPolin Elementary School 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th 3:15 PM

North Summit Elementary School 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th, 6th/7th2:30 PM

Old Mill Elementary School 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th, 6th/7th 3:30 PM

Parley's Park Elementary School 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th 3:05 PM

South Summit Elementary School 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th, 6th/7th 8:00 AM

Trailside Elementary School 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th 3:05 PM

Weilenmann School 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th, 6th/7th 3:15 PM