The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 23, 2013

South Edgecombe Middle School students win oratorical contest

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The Daily Southerner

TARBORO — Four students from South Edgecombe Middle School emerged as winners of the Edgecombe County Clerk of Court Oratorical Contest after delivering their speeches in the Superior Court Room in Tarboro. Emma Rogers, Delasia Bridgers, Yancey Coltrane and Lauryn Abrams spoke on the topic “How Can I Help the Elderly in my Community?”

Coltrane, an eighth-grade student at South Edgecombe who placed second in the contest, stated that she would implement ‘Hug the Elderly Day.’ “The elderly can feel lonely at times so that’s why hugs are important,” Coltrane said. “Also, there are some people who don’t like being touched so there can be variations like giving them a ‘High 5’ or a pat on the back.”

Rogers and Bridgers, both sixth-grade students, tied for third place.  “My goal is to feed the elderly and the less fortunate that can’t get meals at home,” Rogers explained. “Therefore, I would implement a fundraiser to go towards the Meals on Wheels program.” Bridgers shared that she would simply spend time with the elderly. “I think they just need time for people to listen,” she added. “I just want to be there to talk to them.”

Eighth-grader Lauryn Abrams won first place in the contest, sharing that her idea to help the elderly in her community comes from personal experience. Abrams assists her grandmother who she lives with by running errands, shopping with her, and helping her do things she cannot do alone. Acknowledging that her grandmother enjoys this assistance, Abrams stated in her delivery that she would like to do the same for others.

The students were appreciative of the support given to them by their teachers: Donna Tyson, eighth-grade English/ language arts teacher, and Brandy Chappell, AIG specialist. In addition, all of the middle school students expressed that they were able to deliver their speeches with confidence as a result of public speaking opportunities afforded them in previous grades and school activities. Coltrane added with a laugh, “With all of my experience, giving my speech at the courthouse was a little frightening. I have tried hard thus far to stay out of there.”