XENIA — Xenia Community School students will have a chance to compete in a speech contest in April.
According to a release from the district, the contest is themed to coincide with National Poetry Month. Prizes will be awarded in multiple age groups and first-place winners will be invited to give their speech in person at a future board of education meeting.
“The ability to speak well is a critical life skill for our students and this competition is a fun way to build this skill set,” said Superintendent Dr. Gabe Lofton. “The fear of public speaking is incredibly common, but we know that overcoming that hurdle and developing the ability to communicate verbally can have a positive impact on students’ lives.”
Contestants may enter in one of four age group categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. The youngest competitors (K-2), will read a poem of their choice, while students in grades 3-12 will write a speech that can be up to three minutes long about their favorite poet and the impact of that poet’s work.
First place will receive a $100 gift card, second place a $75 gift card, and third place, a $50 gift card. The most creative entry in each age group will be awarded a $50 gift card.
Student speeches will be scored based on age-appropriate criteria. K-2 students should focus on qualities such as eye contact, speaking clearly and at a normal pace, and controlling their bodies. Older participants (grades 3-12) will be scored on speaking style and manner, body language, preparedness, speech content, and adhering to time limits.
National Poetry Month, a celebration of poetry which takes place each April, was introduced in 1996 and is organized by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States.
The contest is open to all K-12 Xenia Community Schools students. All speeches must be submitted digitally using Screencastify (6-12) or Seesaw (K-5) to [email protected] by April 8.
Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.