The Union Recorder

December 31, 2013

American Legion continues high school oratorical contest

From staff reports
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Morris-Little Post 6 American Legion High School Oratorical Contest will be conducted on Jan. 25, 2014.

The American Legion High School Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation's laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. 

Young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. Over $138,000 in scholarships can be awarded each year. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest's first round receives a $1,500 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. 

The American Legion's National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States.

High school students under age 20 are eligible. Students must be enrolled in high school or junior high school during the time of participation at any level of The American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest.

High school students that graduate early during the school year are eligible to compete if they are not enrolled in a college, university, trade school or other institution of higher learning at the time of the department finals contest.

Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition.

The Sixth District Contest will be on held Feb. 15, 2014 at GMC ROTC Department.  The Area Contest will be held on Feb. 22 in Dublin, while the Department of Georgia Contest will be held on March 1, 2014 in Perry.

Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. 

Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.

Each contestant must prepare their oration on some aspect of the Constitution, with emphasis on a citizen's duties and obligations to our government. The same subject and oration used in the department contest must be used in the national contest. 

Contestants may have a copy of their prepared oration while waiting in the first holding room. They may consult the copy until they exit to begin the contest. 

The copy will then be surrendered to the contest official monitoring the first holding room.

Quotations must always be indicated as such. Where quotations are more than 10 words in length, the author's name must be given in the manuscript and cited orally.

The assigned topic discourse must not consume less than three minutes or more than five minutes for delivery. The purpose of the assigned topic discourse is to test the speaker's knowledge of the subject, the extent of his or her research, and the ability to discuss the topic as related to the basic principles of government under the Constitution.

The contest official in full view of the audience shall draw the assigned topic immediately before the last speaker begins delivery of his or her prepared oration and will be made known to the audience and each contestant approximately five minutes prior to the time of delivery. 

The topic will be on some phase of the U.S. Constitution, selected from Articles and Sections as listed under assigned topics for the current year's contest in this brochure. 

Assigned Topics for 2014 Oratorical Contest cover constitutional Amendment 1, Amendment 4, Amendment 13 (Sections I-II) and Amendment 21 (Sections I-III).

Anyone interested in participating in the Morris-Little Post 6 American Legion High School Oratorical Contest must contact Commander John W. Griffin at 478-453-0295 or jwgriff@aol.com, or contact Adjutant David Bill at 478-451-0437 or dsbey118@yahoo.com.