The 87th annual Bell County Spelling Bee is at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Temple College Pavilion.

The event, sponsored by the Temple Daily Telegram, will feature the best middle school-age spellers from across Bell County. Winners will receive cash prizes and plaques, and the first-place winner will take the storied traveling Spelling Bee trophy back to their school for the next year.

“The spelling bee is an important part of the Temple Daily Telegram’s Newspapers in Education program,” circulation manager Mike Hicks said. “It is also a fun competition for some of the community’s best and brightest young people — tomorrow’s leaders.”

Each year, contestants come from all types of schools — public, charter, private and home schools.

“The value of the written word is as vital today as ever,” Hicks said. “While communication has changed to include text, emails, abbreviations and even emojis, we believe it is important to help students understand and appreciate the need for proper spelling and grammar.”

Temple College professor D. Kirkland is returning as the competition’s pronouncer, and retired teacher Meg Chamlee Pitrucha will be joining veterans Linda Barnes and the Rev. Roscoe Harrison Jr. at the judges’ table.

“It’s an 87-year tradition here,” Hicks said.