Young speakers at Barry’s Bay Legion

Ten young people from the Valley, supported by family members and friends, participated in Stage One of the annual Royal Canadian Legion public speaking competition at Barry’s Bay on February 9. One speaker is home schooled and the other nine attend local schools: George Vanier, St. John Bosco, Killaloe PS and Palmer Rapids PS were represented.

Shown above from left. Front row: Penny Porter, James Shaw, Noah Craine, Lilly Calverley. Back row: Grace Fabian, Ava Cybulskie, Louetta Reimer, Rivko Reimer, Legion President Heather Poliquin, Joseph Olver, Stephanie Mintha (Photo submitted)

Legion President Heather Poliquin said the annual contest is open to all students from Grade 1 to Grade 12. There are four levels:

  • Primary: Grades 1 to 3
  • Junior: Grades 4 to 6
  • Intermediate: Grades 7 to 9
  • Senior: Grades 10 to 12

Speeches at the first three levels must be 3 to 5 minutes long. Competitors at the Senior level must speak for 5 to 7 minutes.

Winners by level

James Shaw spoke about “Why everyone should go camping” to win the Primary level. James is home schooled.

Ava Cybulskie, a student at St. John Bosco, won the Junior level prize speaking on the topic of “Pollution.”

Louetta Reimer achieved first place at the Intermediate level with a speech about “Plastic and the environment.”

There were no speakers at the Senior level.

Praise for speakers and volunteers

Poliquin thanked this year’s judges, who were Barry Conway, Karen Filipkowski and Kathy Marion. She also acknowledged the assistance of the many volunteers who registered the speakers, timed their speeches, tabulated the scores and served refreshments.

She said of the more than 25 students that were expected, only 11 registered on the morning of the competition. Poliquin said,

“It would be wonderful if more students participated. It is a great way to build self-esteem and confidence.”

The prize amounts for the Legion Competition are:

  • 1st Place: $35.00
  • 2nd Place: $30.00
  • 3rd Place: $25.00

The first place winners in each category now advance to the Zone Level Competition which will be held in Eganville on March 2, 2019.

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