August: International Youth Day (August 12th)

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"12 August was first designated International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999, and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth." - The United Nations, https://www.un.org/en/events/youthday/

“Today, we celebrate the young people, youth-led organizations, Governments and others who are working to transform education and uplift young people everywhere.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres

This month we celebrate youth leaders! Time after time again, adults have failed to solve local, regional, national and international problems. And so it is up to youth to change the world. This month select any youth leader who has made a difference. This person can be from the past or present or even yourself. Describe their life. What did they do to make the world a better place? How did they impact you or others? One great resource to find youth leaders is the winners of the Children's Peace Prize. Click here.

Topic: Select any present or past youth advocate (and can be yourself!). Describe their life. What did they do to make the world a better place? How did they impact you or others?  Your choice should be under the age of 18.

“If people were silent nothing would change.”- Malala Yousafzai, Youth Activist for human rights, especially the rights of girls to education. Youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time magazine featured her as one of the most influential people globally.

"We children are doing this to wake the adults up. We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis. We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back." - Greta Thunberg, Youth Climate Change Activist, Time magazine's 100 most influential people and the youngest Time Person of the Year; inclusion in the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women (2019) and two consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (2019 and 2020).

Deadline: August 31st

Each of our tournaments will kick off on the 1st of each month and end on the last day of each month. Students have a month to prepare and submit a speech. Please submit all entries by the end of day. Unfortunately, we cannot accept late entries for fairness to all participants. 

Original Oratory Tournament

Students record and submit a 1-5 minute video speech delivering an original speech on the monthly topic. Please review our guidelines and judging rubric. Students can participate in both Tournaments of Original Oratory and Speechwriting. 

Speechwriting Tournament

Students submit a written speech on the monthly topic. Elementary students should submit a 200-500 word count speech. Middle School, High School and College should submit a 500-1000 word count speech. Students can participate in both Tournaments of Original Oratory and Speechwriting. 

Awards

Everyone is a Winner: The #1 fear of the majority of adults is public speaking. So whether you participate in one of our tournaments, or our tournaments every month - you are already a winner and developing lifelong skills. Public Speaking is one of the most powerful superpowers in the world! 

Certificates of Participation: Online Certificates of Participation for all students.

Medals, Ribbons, Trophies. Ribbons, Medals and Trophies are awarded and mailed to the top winners of each division. Divisions include: Elementary School Division, Middle School Division, High School Division, and Collegiate Division. *Please note because of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine rules, we estimate we will be mailing out awards this summer (July/August). *

School Sweepstakes Awards: Trophies and/or medals are awarded to the schools with the most entries.  The First Place School in addition to their Sweepstakes Award will win a $100 Pizza Party Gift for their Great Debaters and Teachers!

Public Showcase. Top awardees will be featured on our website, social media, and e-newsletters.

* Please note that because this is a free program, we reserve the right at any time to change or cancel any events, awards, certificates. If the number of entries exceeds our volunteer and judge capacity, we reserve the right to limit the number of entries. Additionally, we are not responsible for any lost awards, ribbons, medals, trophies, gift cards, etc. Please understand as a free program managed by volunteers, we reserve the right at anytime to change or cancel any part of our program. And please share with us any feedback so that we can improve our program.

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2020 NYC Elementary School Speech & Debate League