Preview: This year’s Bronx County Oratorical Speech Contest

LaCrown (c), gathers with the four finalists from last year’s contest, (l-r) Kavita Ghansham, Cardinal Spellman High School, Destiny John, Xavier High School, Jasmine Kerr, Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy and Daniel Okafor, Bronx Health & Science High School.
Photo courtesy of Legionnaire Adeyemi LaCrown TOBA

High school students – preach your speech at this year’s oratorical contest!

The 3rd annual Bronx County Oratorical Speech Contest will take place at Co-op City Post 1871, located at 135 Einstein Loop, Room 41, on Monday, December 5 at 5 p.m.

The annual event provides high school students an opportunity to demonstrate and showcase their knowledge of the United States Constitution and its 27 amendments.

For this year’s contest, participating students will conduct speeches on a particular amendment of the constitution for eight to ten minutes long. Three to five minute speeches on an assigned topic will also be conducted. Three judges will rate the contestants based on each student’s time management, speech presentation and overall knowledge of their particular subject.

Legionnaire Adeyemi LaCrown TOBA, the commander of Post 1871, who has been the Bronx County chairman of the Oratorical Speech Contest for the past three years, says that this annual event is a great opportunity that students all over the borough should take advantage of.

“We have smart kids here in the Bronx – and this event always showcases what these students have learned about our country’s constitution, which every high school student should have at least broad knowledge of,” said LaCrown. “It’s important for these students to demonstrate their ability to speak about a particular topic for a long, but limited period of time in front of an audience – and many of the borough’s high school students are more than capable of doing so.”

Before LaCrown became the event chairman three years ago, there was never an oratorical speech competition in the Bronx. LaCrown, who admitted that it has been a difficult task to recruit students for the event in years past, said that he passed along flyers to local schools and even churches to spread the word.

“It’s been a tough process trying to get students to participate in this event – especially considering the fact that high school students who are not seniors are eligible to participate again the following year,” said LaCrown. “They can compete in next year’s competition even if they are selected as one of the four finalists!”

LaCrown added that two of the four Bronx finalists from last year’s contest were freshman.

In the two previous years, the contest was hosted in a studio on the Lehman College campus.

The contest will send its four finalists to Manhattan to participate in the citywide contest in the first week in January, before the top two finalists will be sent to Albany for the statewide competition in February.

The national competition will take place in Indianapolis, IN, where the first place contest winner will receive an $18,000 college scholarship. The second place winner will be awarded $16,000 and third place will take home $14,000.

An Information/Question & Answer Day regarding the Bronx County Oratorical Speech Contest will take place on Sunday, November 27 at 4 p.m., at Co-op City post, Room 41, where parents and students can ask and discuss the details of the upcoming event.

For more information, call the Co-op City Post 1871 at (718) 320-8165 or email LaCrown at toba4change@aol.com.

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