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Home > Clerc Center > Optimist International Club Communication Contest Turns Novices into Confident Presenters

Optimist International Club Communication Contest Turns Novices into Confident Presenters

Image: Optimist International

On March 17, Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) students took their turn under the spotlights. This was the moment for which they had taken months to prepare. Each student stood by the podium on the KDES stage and delivered his or her essay on "Cyber Communication: Progress or Problem," the theme for this year's Optimist International Club Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

This round of the contest was sponsored by the NoonDay and Sunrise Optimist Clubs. Those students who best impressed the judges with their poise in delivery, self-expression in American Sign Language, and relevance to the topic won the most points.

Elizabeth Hall, KDES teacher and contest representative, praised the value of contest participation. "I love doing this contest because it increases the students' interest and motivation to write. They learn how to write about a specific topic in organized paragraphs that clearly share their feelings. For many of our students, the contest is their first time to practice making a formal public presentation. But most of all, the students participate because it's fun," she said.

The NoonDay Club first place winner was Ksenia Markel and the second place winner was Eliyas Assefa. The Sunrise Club first place winner was Johanna Cruz and the second place winner was Mauricio Orozco. First place winners each received a $200 savings bond, a gold medallion, and an award certificate. Second place winners each received a $100 savings bond, a silver medallion, and an award certificate. The rest of the contestants-Tao De Odgen, Noah Spinosi, Gabriela Villatoro, Juwan Blackwell, Bailey Doleac, and Jackelin Choque-each received a bronze medallion and a participation certificate.

The four top winners from the NoonDay and Sunrise competitions will participate in Virginia's Optimist Club District Contest on April 24. They will be competing with students from different Virginia schools for a $ 2,500 scholarship.

Congratulations to all our KDES student competitors!

If your school is interested in participating in a future contest, contact your local Optimist Club. To find out the contact in your area, please e-mail the Programs Department at programs@optimist.org.