Tag Archives: MLK

Martin Luther King Jr. oratory competition earns national, local attention


The performances of several HISD elementary school students who delivered original Martin Luther King Jr.-inspired speeches last week garnered praise from both local and national media outlets. ABC’s Good Morning America described the students’ speeches as “profound” and “impressive.”

The students’ speeches focused on the question, “What would Dr. King say in his campaign speech if he were running for president this year?” as part of the 20thannual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.

Students from Cornelius, Pleasantville, Wainwright, and Whidby elementary schools were featured in news stories on the competition, thanking Dr. King for his service and legacy. Parts of their speeches also were highlighted on TV.

Cornelius fifth-grader Richard Espinoza-Garza, who won the competition, told ABC that Dr. King “meant we should all come together – all races, all cultures.”

Click the links below to view stories on HISD students participating in the oratory competition.

For third time, a Cornelius ES student wins Martin Luther King Jr. oratory competition

MLK winner 1_940

For the third time in a row, a student from Cornelius Elementary School has taken home the top prize at the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition. Fifth-grader Richard Espinoza-Garza was all smiles as he took center stage to claim his prize. Now in its 20th year in Houston, the annual competition is sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.

Principal Karen Jackson attributed her school’s three-year winning streak to a combination of strong support and a positive campus culture. “We are highly competitive and demand excellence from our kids in everything we do,” said Jackson. “We have a speech coach, and every winner from our campus has had over-the-top parental support.”

This year, 12 finalists answered the question, “What would Dr. King say in his campaign speech if he were running for president this year?Continue reading

Cornelius ES student wins Martin Luther King Jr. oratory competition

Chase Roberts of Cornelius Elementary School took home top honors in the 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Houston. This is the second year in a row a student from Cornelius has won the competition.

Every year since 1996, fourth- and fifth-graders from two dozen HISD schools have competed in the annual contest, which challenges students to write and present a short original speech on a subject related to the slain civil rights leader. The topic this year was, “”If Dr. King were to win the Nobel Peace Prize today, what would he say in his acceptance speech?”

Watch the winning speech and videos of all the finalists below.

Continue reading

HISD Students Compete in 17th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition

Twelve HISD students will compete in the final round of the 17th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition. The fourth-and fifth-grade students have written three-to-five minute speeches answering the theme question “If you could talk directly to Dr. King about your dream for our future, what would you tell him?”  Students will be judged on delivery, stage presence and decorum, content interpretation, and memorization. The winner will receive $1,000 and the other finalists will also be awarded a monetary prize. The competition was created to celebrate cultural diversity and to recognize exceptional HISD students as they learn about Dr. King’s legacy.  It is free and open to the public.  Click here to see the speeches from last year’s event.

Who: Twelve students representing HISD elementary schools; HISD Board of Education Trustee Anna Eastman, HISD Chief Elementary School officer Samuel Sarabia, and local civic and community leaders will serve as judges.

What: Final round of the 17th annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition

When: Friday, January 18 at 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Where: Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ, 500 Clay Street

17th annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition Finals on Friday

Last year's Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition winner Mattias McBride.

Last year's Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition winner, Matthias McBride.

Dr. Martin Luther King will inspire several elementary school students to pick up a microphone and show off their oratory skills in the 17th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition Finals at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ on Friday, Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Twelve  students will be judged on delivery, stage presence and decorum, content interpretation and memorization as they perform original three to five minute speeches designed to answer the question –  “If you could talk directly to Dr. King about your dream for our future, what would you tell him?”

Aimed at celebrating cultural diversity and encouraging continued development of writing and oratory skills, the contest has had an impressive past and led to contest winners spreading Dr. King’s messages of hope on local and national news outlets. Last year’s second-place winner, Donovan Williams, a fifth grader at Cornelius Elementary,  noted, “As a drum major for justice, Dr. King would surely share the baton with us.”

Check here to see the speeches from last year’s event, including the speech from winner Matthias McBride.

What:  17th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition Finals

Where:Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ

 When: Friday, Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

MLK Early Childhood Center Puts Early Voting Lesson to Music

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/51682389 w=500&h=281]

Need inspiration to vote? Check out these videos from Martin Luther King, Jr. Early Childhood Center, where getting students to understand the importance of voting was a matter of showing them what it’s all about through song and dance.
Continue reading