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Grade 7 Public Speaking Challenge

At a special event held at the Centre for Dialogue at Byrne Creek Community School in March, the District’s top eight Grade 7 orators delivered their speeches to an audience of family, friends, teachers, administrators, and a panel of esteemed judges.

Every Grade 7 student in the District is required to write and deliver a 3-5 minute speech on a common theme to their classmates. Two speakers at a school level are chosen to attend their zone’s semi-final. The top two students from each semi-final then advance to the District Final. It is always a very difficult task for judges, but at the end of the night, three students are selected as the Grade 7 Public Speaking Champions.

The annual event began in 1983 to provide elementary students the opportunity to develop their confidence and pursue excellence in public speaking. The idea for the challenge came from Burnaby educator Dave Carter, and the coveted trophy is called the Carter Cup.

This year, students were challenged with “I may be young but…” as the starting point for the subject of their speeches. Competitors were judged on their content and delivery. They are not allowed any visual aids or props. It’s just them, their voice, and the audience. All eight speeches were excellent. Topics ranged from global warming to mental health with fresh perspectives, insight, and professional deliveries to back it all up.

The top three Grade 7 Public Speaking champions are highly sought after to present at District and community events. Their speaking engagements include: a public meeting of the Burnaby Board of Education, the Burnaby Retired Teachers’ Association, and the District’s Words Writing Project celebration held at Michael J Fox Theatre.

We want to acknowledge each student who presented in their schools. It takes courage to stand up and speak in front of your peers. Thank you to staff and parents for their ongoing encouragement and support. And congratulations to all of our District Finalists.

Thank you to the Burnaby Now for their ongoing sponsorship of this event. See the Burnaby Now ad below.