More than 50 Compton Unified School District (CUSD) students, grades K through 5, overcame stage fright to perform monologues, poems, and essays at the district’s annual oratorical contest.

Sponsored by Curriculum Design and Instructional Improvement, the April 10 event was held at Enterprise Middle School, 2600 W. Compton Blvd., and included seven different categories and PowerPoint presentations.

“Get Your Green On!” was the competition’s overall theme, which touched on the importance of recycling to the dangers of littering.

This year’s winners were Clinton Elementary School’s Brook Lynn Price (K-1 recitation/dramatization contest); Bunche Elementary School’s Kennedi Vance (second and third grade student authored poem category); and Tibby Elementary School’s Joel Hernandez (second and third grade speech recitation competition).

Clinton Elementary’s Pedro De Anda Jr. (fourth and fifth grade student authored speech contest); Bursch Elementary School’s Aleah Brown (impromptu speech competition); Emerson Elementary School’s Rnzo Padilla (PowerPoint presentation encouraging audience members to do their part to save the envronment) and Kelly Elementary School won the school site group performance competition.

Diana Phillips, language arts specialist and Oratorical Contest coordinator, said all of Compton’s students impressed her with their public speaking skills. “We’re all in awe of our student contestants because we’re well aware of the confidence needed to speak to an audience of any size,” she said. “They are all winners and indicative of the many young, brilliant minds we have in Compton Unified schools.”

Tibby Elementary second-grader Joel Hernandez said he was proud of winning the speech recitation competition with his performance of Mark Anthony’s funeral orationfrom William Shakespeare’s tragic play “Julius Caesar.” “I’m very happy to win because my brother, my mom, and my drama coach Ms. Sitter helped me,” he said. Hernandez added that he hopes to become a famous actor one day. “I like acting because you get to do speeches, you learn about literature, and you can be someone else.”

Additional information may be obtained by contacting CUSD’s Office of Communications at (310) 604-6529 or by visiting www.compton.k12.ca.us.