Speech joins the list of activities available at GRMS
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By Scott Bidroski
The ability to stand up and speak in front of a crowd ranks very high on a lot of lists for what makes people uncomfortable.
While is can be a fear for some, it is truly a skill for others.
And Gordon-Rushville Middle School (GRMS) students now have the opportunity to develop this skill, just like their High School counterparts.
Gordon-Rushville High School (GRHS) Speech Coach Esther Wilson, along with GRMS Speech Coach Macy Piper, have made the GRMS Speech Team a reality.
Nine brave souls have made the jump into the new activity with hopes to build skills necessary for future success.
“The GRMS Speech Team’s mission is to strive to help develop skills to become more successful public speakers,” said Coach Wilson.
“We would like students to take topics that they are interested in and develop a speech to inform, persuade, or entertain an audience,” she added.
Wilson was the driving force behind the addition of Speech into GRMS. She recognizes that the numbers at GRHS were growing slim so the hope is to peak interest earlier in the student’s education.
“Over the past few years, I have seen the GRHS Speech team dwindle in size,” said Wilson.
“I hate seeing this when Speech is one activity that will benefit each student in the future. At some point, we all will need to speak in front of a group and having the skills and confidence to do so is vital,” she added.
The ball got rolling for Coach Wilson when she heard about students on the eastern part of the state getting opportunities with Speech. She thought, why not us as well?
Also of note, Speech is an activity that sixth graders can participate in, unlike sports at this age group. This gives those students yet another opportunity while growing the interest in Speech as a whole.
And the group of young people who have stepped up to the plate have impressed Coach Piper.
“The students participating in Speech are fantastic,” said Piper.
“We’ve got some hard-working kids who want to do well and come eager to work a few nights a week after school. In the short 30-minute practices, the students are focused, asking great questions, and are busy researching their ideas,” she added.
She adds that Speech program has opened up avenues in which she can get to know the students she instructs daily even better.
“It’s been great to see what topics the students are coming up with,” said Piper.
‘I’ve learned a lot about their interests and personalities just by the topics they’ve chosen. They are some talented kids,” she added.
Since it is still very early in it’s conception, an actual competition against other schools is something that is in the works for the next school year.
But Coach Wilson and Piper still want to showcase these students and their hard work.
A date has not been set in stone at this point but look for an announcement for a possible performance for friends and family later in the school year.
Coach Wilson hopes to bring on the GRHS Speech team members to judge and provide feedback for the newcomers.
A momentum of sorts has begun for the Speech program at GRPS and Wilson welcomes anyone, from sixth grade until twelveth grade, to give Speech a try.
“The Speech program will help students grow academically as well as personally,” said Wilson.
“Speech gives students the opportunity to be creative and explore the arts and there is no other way to sum it up because every student takes something different away from it.”
If anyone is interested in learning more about Speech at GRPS, they are encouraged to contact Coach Wilson or Coach Piper at their respective buildings.