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OCSD Students Compete in First Annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition to Honor Dr. King's Legacy

Orangeburg County School District (OCSD) will be hosting their first annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition on Monday, February 28, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. at the Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, SC.

OCSD’s MLK Jr. Oratory theme is “Awakening the Consciousness of Compassion.” The purpose of the contest is to allow students of OCSD to use their voice to motivate and inspire others through the art of public speaking. In addition, it serves as a celebration of cultural diversity and spotlights the students as they honor Dr. King and recognize Black History Month.

“What excites me the most about this event, is that our youth will have the opportunity to express their own ideas as inspired by the way Dr. King expressed his ideas,” said Director of Student Services, Mr. Hayward Jean. “Get ready to be inspired and uplifted by leaders of today and tomorrow!”

The MLK Jr. Oratory is open to fourth and fifth grade students. The final fourteen students that will be participating in the district competition went through a school level competition earlier this month and placed first in their school.

Each student must compose and present an original two-to-five-minute speech, incorporating ideals from Dr. King’s teachings, to address a pre-selected topic. The students’ speeches not only celebrate Dr. King’s enduring messages but also demonstrate how his words continue to impact and inspire their own lives.

The theme question for the 2022 competition topic is, “Dr. King was a pivotal leader in the Civil Rights Movement. What movement would you support, start or lead to help your peers? Why is this movement important?”

The participants’ speeches must be memorized and recited aloud. Students can use quotes or phrases from other speeches or works as long as the author is referenced. Students may also include a song within their speech for up to 30 seconds.

Contestants will be judged on content, delivery and length. Grand prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place finalists. All participants will receive a certificate of participation, trophy, and gift certificate.

“This event allows the community to see the dynamic skills of OCSD students and their dedicated teachers,” said Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster. “I congratulate each of our top finalists, and the coaches who work tirelessly in preparation for the event.”

Good luck to the OCSD MLK Jr. Oratory Competition Contestants:

Dilyn Berry, Bethune-Bowman Elementary (4th)

Harlem Brown, Holly Hill Elementary (5th)

Duane Butler, Sheridan Elementary (5th)

Jasmine Cook, Hunter-Kinard-Tyler Elementary (5th)

Ava Ferguson, St. James-Gaillard Elementary (4th)

Lavasvaughn Haase, Vance-Providence Elementary (5th)

Roberta Hart, Elloree Elementary (4th)

Malachi Jean, Mellichamp Elementary (5th)

Jackson Jett, Lockett Elementary (4th)

Jaylen Johnson, Dover Elementary (5th)

Diego McAlhany, Edisto Elementary (5th)

Saniya Patel, Marshall Elementary (5th)

Ka’Son Spigner, Whittaker Elementary (4th)

Matthew Stack, Brookdale Elementary (5th)