On Friday, April 13th, four Moravian Academy Middle School students traveled to The Swain School to compete in the First Annual Oratorical Contest. Recognizing that public speaking is a critical life skill for all, the contest was initiated for students in grades 6 – 8 to provide a forum to practice these skills. The event was open to all students in the Lehigh Valley. In the preliminary competition, 17 contestants delivered speeches. Students chose their speeches from among those listed on the Famous American Speeches website, and each was evaluated on poise, delivery, presentation, and overall effectiveness.
Sixth-graders Divya Verma and Rayna Maholtra and seventh graders Okezue Bell and Rohan Mehta, represented our Middle School in excellent fashion. Divya provided a speech of Shirley Chisholm’s “Equal Women’s Rights” from 1970; Rayna recited Hillary Clinton’s “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” from 1975; Okezue recited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech from 1963; and Rohan recited William Faulkner’s “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech” from 1950.
Both Rohan and Okezue advanced to the final competition. The competition from The Swain School was very challenging and the final scores were very close. Rohan placed a commendable second place overall, and Okezue earned first place with his portrayal of Dr. King’s speech and message. Third place was awarded to Swain’s Reese Wilten.
The Swain School staff and students were very welcoming of our students and we appreciate their time and effort to host and hold the 1st Annual Oratorical Contest!