ELIZABETHTOWN – Samaria Grant, an eighth-grade student from Tar Heel Middle School, and Cheyanne Jacobs, a seventh-grade student from East Arcadia School, participated in the soil and water conservation State Level Public Speaking Contest in Raleigh on May 6.
Grant was one of six eighth-grade contestants, and Jacobs was one of seven seventh-grade contestants delivering a speech on We All Live in a Watershed to five judges and an audience of more than 60.
Students competing at this level have advanced through three and sometimes four tiers of competition before convening at the state’s capitol to represent their area against winners from across North Carolina.
First- and second-place winners are awarded $200 and $100, respectively, in addition to the prestigious plaque given to all participants for their hard work and dedication in reaching this level of competition.
Speeches must be from 4 to 6 minutes in length and demonstrate comprehensive subject knowledge, originality and the skillful use of facts. Contestants are also judged on appropriate body language, voice, diction and style.
Competition is so strong, winning students frequently do extensive research and weave general conservation measures and the work of the state’s 96 soil and water conservation districts into the body of their speech.
The speech contest is sponsored on the local level by soil and water conservation districts and their association, and organized at the state level by the N.C. Division of Soil and Water Conservation.
The speech contest is one of many educational opportunities offered throughout the year by the Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District. For information on local speech, essay and poster contests; an environmental science competition called the Envirothon; educational field days and Project Food, Land and People, please call the Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District at 910-862-3179 opt 3.