West Point NY | May 7, 2018
Pictured are contestants from the April 30th "Month of the Military Child" public speaking competition sponsored by the West Point Middle School Speech and Debate Club. This was the third annual event designed to highlight the experiences and challenges of America's youngest heroes, DoDEA's military children. The prompt about which students spoke was: "How Life as a Military, or Military-Connected, Child Has Shaped My Life and Who I Am." Students shared the joys, sorrows, and challenges of watching parents deploy, moving, watching their friends, move, and how these life events have set them apart from other children around the world while giving them strength, compassion, and empathy for others.
For the past two years, the club's events have been supported by United States Military Academy's Speech and Debate Club. The cadets serve as competition judges and mentors by providing valuable feedback to support students in developing and refining their public speaking skills in order to master the art of communication, debate, and rhetoric. They serve as role models for students both in speech and debate and character. Next year's collaboration will result in an increased number of debates that explore bold, but developmentally appropriate, topics to challenge the students' young minds and social/global awareness.