SPEAK SUMMER ACADEMY 2016
Organized by: Clare Bailey
Growing up I remembered being so afraid to say what was on my mind, partly due to the old adage, that children must be seen and not heard. It wasn’t until the fourth grade that my reading teacher Ms. James helped me to overcome my fear while one day, I was reading aloud to the class, she recognized my full potential. Ms. James took a personal interest in my development and often assigned me various literary pieces to commit to memory. Then she would have me recite those pieces in the school’s general assembly or on special occasions. It was these small but special moments that helped me to have the courage to find my voice. It was the belief that I, a timid child standing in a tiny low-lit classroom nestled in one of Jamaica’s inner city schools, could be great – and that eventually led me to become an award-winning international orator, amassing many top awards in local, national and international speech and debate forensics competition while representing my alma mater, Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.
This summer, like Ms. James, you and I have the same opportunity to give a young boy or girl the courage to find his or her voice just by choosing to become a sponsor of the Speak Summer Academy (SSA). Your financial level of support will exceed its monetary value by transforming the lives of children from disadvantage backgrounds. These children reside in Jamaica’s inner most cities marred by crime, violence and high unemployment. Statistically, over 70 percent of these children are inclined to get involved in gangs, illegal activities and succumb to teenage pregnancy. However, research reveals that children engaging in extracurricular activities such as speech and debate are more likely to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals and honorable leaders in their communities.
In an effort to assist a child to reach their full potential and secure a better future, the Speak Summer Academy has designed a program which focuses on four (4) core areas of literacy: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The development of these areas will enable participants to build confidence, improve communication and increase their critical thinking skills- making these individuals better prepared to pursue a higher education, as well as equip them with the necessary life skills to secure a successful future.
Here is your opportunity to make a global impact by changing the life of just one child. I encourage you to make the commitment by becoming a sponsor today.
Speak Summer Academy is a two week speech and debate forensics communication summer camp. The program focuses on developing inner city youths with the communication skills needed to become critical thinkers.
Participants will spend approximately ten (10) days working with a personal communication coach to develop the fundamentals of communication and public speaking while engaging in small group activities. In addition, participants will interact with various professionals from Jamaica and the United States (Lawyers, Politicians, Professors, Religious Leaders, Entrepreneurs, etc.).
At the end of week one, students will take a field trip to the Jamaica House of Parliament. The camp will culminate with a speech and debate tournament among the camp participants. The final debate will be held at the closing formal ceremony with an audience comprising of campers, coaches, parents and community leaders.
Skills and knowledge:
Participants will acquire the tools, skills and practical methods to:
- Identify and engage in effective communication
- Apply critical thinking in argument development
- Recognize and develop vocal variety
- Develop their unique pattern of speech
- Clearly articulate thoughts and ideas
- Provide logical answers to questions with clarity
- Formulate impromptu responses quickly
- Develop interpersonal skills: conflict resolution, assertiveness, teamwork
- Engage in social issues
- Overcome anxiety of public speaking
- Students, age 10 -14 years old
- Reside in an inner city community