More than 70 of the top student speakers from 24 elementary schools in Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) are getting set to compete in the seventh annual EIPS Young Speakers Invitational.
 
Throughout February and March, more than 2,800 EIPS students in grades four through six competed in speech competitions at their schools in front of a panel of independent judges.
 
Three finalists from each school, one in each grade, were chosen and now move on to compete in this year’s competition this evening (April 20).
 
“We live in a digital age, where the art and power of the spoken word is easy to overlook,” said Jordan Smith, event co-ordinator and a teacher at Brentwood Elementary School in Sherwood Park. “What’s so great about the Young Speakers Invitational is it offers students the opportunity to stand up and speak clearly and concisely about a topic that’s meaningful to them—a skill set that will serve them well now and in their future endeavours.”
 
Students who have advanced to the Young Speakers Invitational will present their speeches to a panel of judges in a preliminary round. The top four from each grade will then advance to the final round and present their speeches one last time. Judges will grade students on their ability to meld quality and organized content in a manner that’s presented with interest and conviction. All participating students will take home a special prize and those who make it to the finals will receive a commemorative plaque.
 
“I’ve been practicing a lot, reading to friends, family—even my pillow,” sais a grade five student from Brentwood Elementary. “I think the reason this event is important to me is because I want to be a good communicator, which will help me in school and in my career. I think too, it’s important we learn to have strong voices to make our point.”
 
Local schools taking part include Fort Saskatchewan Christian, Fort Saskatchewan Elementary, École Parc Élémentaire and Win Ferguson Elementary.

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