What do Gandhi, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Jedi masters, 6th grader campers, and scuba divers have in common? They were the subjects of the inspiring and entertaining speeches delivered at Solana Pacific Elementary School’s recent Speechmasters Graduation program.
Speechmasters is based on the Toastmasters International public speaking and leadership program (www.toastmasters.org), but caters to the 8-12 year old. Thirty-five 5th and 6th graders eagerly show up every Friday morning, an hour before school starts, to deliver prepared speeches, give evaluations, and respond extemporaneously to impromptu questions. Each meeting is entirely run by the children, including the Toastmaster (M.C.), Speakers, Evaluators, Table Topics Master, Timer, Vote Counter, Um Counter, and elected officers.
Public speaking and leadership competencies are essential skills that can help a child communicate clearly, listen effectively, and think on their feet. For those reasons, Mojgan Amini, and Shannon Peck, Solana Pacific elementary school moms, help run the Speechmasters program at their children’s school.
According to Shannon, “Children who learn how to confidently and effectively express themselves will be more influential and successful in both their academic and career pursuits.”
“It’s amazing how enthusiastically the students embrace these valuable skills that will add to their success as adults,” states Mojgan. “Toastmasters has been instrumental in my life, and I’m glad these kids are getting a taste of it at an early age.”
The 12-week program ended with a graduation ceremony showcasing the participants’ new skills and recognizing their accomplishment on June 1 at the Solana Pacific school auditorium.
For information about the Solana Pacific Speechmasters program, contact the school, http://www.sbsd.k12.ca.us/sp/.