KMTS Connections: Literacy Outreach Spellebration

Literacy Outreach Executive Director Martha Fredendall talks to us about this year’s event, the 30th annual Spellebration.

(Following is from the Literacy Outreach press release on the event.)
• Spellebration is an adult spelling bee and fundraiser for Literacy Outreach, a longtime local nonprofit providing life-changing opportunities for adults to learn basic literacy skills such as reading, writing, math, and conversational English.
• The 30th annual event will be held at the Hotel Colorado on Friday, April 5th starting at 6pm.
• This year’s theme is “Under the LiteraSea”. Team costumes are encouraged!

Join Literacy Outreach for an adult spelling bee and silent auction, deep down Under the LiteraSea.
Literacy Outreach is a nonprofit that has been serving Garfield County since 1986. The first Spellebration in 1994 was dreamed up as a fun way to involve the community in the world of literacy, to raise money for the organization, and to give people a chance to test out their spelling skills and earn bragging rights as the Best Spellers of Garfield County! Teams of 3 compete to spell as many words correctly as they can over multiple rounds until a winner is crowned.

“It’s the most fun you can have spelling,” says executive director Martha Fredendall. “I think people love it because it’s an opportunity to let your inner nerd shine. There’s just enough angst in a spelling contest to keep people on their toes.”
Though this lively event is infused with imaginative costumes and humor, the spelling is taken seriously. Last year, the words !victuals”, !panegyric”, and !coulrophobia,” stumped the majority of teams.

In a time of autocorrect and AI, the simple act of spelling can be a refreshing challenge. “There’s something about a spelling bee that feels historical, like you’re joining a tradition.”— Connie Lewis, volunteer

To add to the fun, a theme is chosen each year, which guides the costume contest and atmosphere of the event. Past themes have ranged from Mystery (“The Case of the Misspelled Word”), to Fairy Tales (“Once Upon a Spell”) to last year’s “Royal Spelling Bee: The Realm of Reading”.

This year for their 30th, Literacy Outreach celebrates their “Pearl Anniversary” with an ocean theme of “Under the LiteraSea.”

“We’re hoping for a tidal wave of support for our 30th,” says executive director Martha Fredendall. “Come out of your shell and join us.”

You can expect a good time, healthy competition, and many sea-themed puns. In addition to the spelling, attendees can participate in a silent auction.

All proceeds from this event benefit the adult learners of Literacy Outreach.

To register your team, call 970-945-5282 or email

Visit for more information.

Volunteers are also welcome to get in touch to help with the planning of the event.

More about Literacy Outreach:
At Literacy Outreach, adult students have opportunities to learn essential literacy skills from fellow adult peers in safe, supportive learning environments. Volunteer tutors from throughout Garfield County work one-on-one or in small groups with students to teach reading, writing, math, and conversational English. These programs empower students to reach their full potential and become more capable and active members of their families, workplaces, and communities.