Lower School Oratorical, which took place on April 6, is a Steward tradition designed to help students gain confidence in their public-speaking skills in a safe, supportive environment. Throughout their tenure at Steward, Spartans of all ages have many opportunities to practice their public-speaking skills, culminating in another school tradition: senior speeches.
Onstage in the Lora M. Robins Theatre, 49 Spartans shared stories, poems, and speeches that ran the gamut from sweet to funny to thought-provoking. Junior Kindergarteners entertained guests with charming songs about the days of the week and months of the year, and Spartans in Grade 3 — with handmade props created during their children’s engineering classes — recited biographies of famous people from Benjamin Franklin to Steve Jobs to Grace Hopper. Our fourth-grade students closed out the program with a choral recitation of a poem in two voices.
“This was a terrific way for our students to hone their public-speaking skills and share their interests,” said Lower School Director Ingrid Moore. “It’s incredible to see these young children stand up confidently in front of an audience and recite tavorite stories and original writings of their own. I am so proud of their poise and passion. It feels like the perfect expression of our stated mission to provide an environment of support and care to prepare our students for life.”
Lower School Academic Dean Becky Groves accompanied many of the young orators onstage, giving them an encouraging nod as they prepared to speak.
“Our students amaze me with every Oratorical program,” she said. “Each Spartan who participated dedicated weeks to choosing a selection and learning to recite that piece with fluency and expression. They conquered nervous butterflies and performed with enthusiasm and confidence. I could not be more proud of them.”
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