Annual MLK speech contest sign-up runs through Jan. 10

BELLE GLADE — The 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, at Rosenwald Elementary School in Belle Glade.

This contest is sponsored by the City of South Bay and will happen in the school’s cafeteria that evening starting at 6 p.m. Martha Soriano, administrative assistant at Rosenwald Elementary School, circulated the participation guidelines and participants registration forms last week to area school principals.

As in the past years for this speech contest, there will be cash prizes for anyone who comes in first, second or third place. It is held annually around the late civil rights leader’s birthday.

The prescribed topics for speeches are:
• Grades K-2: Why is it important to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr?
• Grades 3-5: The importance of peace and equality.
• Grades 6-8: What is the meaning of a “Beloved Community?”
• Grades 9-12: (Segregation Today) What if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t initiate change?

Guidelines for school officials:
• Each school may send up to three participants per category.
Individual schools are encouraged to conduct their own “mini-oratorical contest” to determine representation.
• Speeches may not be longer than 3 minutes and may not be read. Notes are acceptable.
• Names of participants must be submitted on the registration form no later than Friday, Jan. 10.
• Judges’ decisions are final.
• Speeches must relate to the grade level topic.

Any students who are interested are to submit them to the Palm Beach County School District’s Sandra Lusunariz, Oratorical Contest Committee member. Contact her at 561-993-8900 or email her at

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