American Legion Post 109 in Hartwell is hosting its annual “Constitutional Speech Contest” on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m. in the First Baptist Church Family Life Center, located at 81 East Howell Street in Hartwell. The public is invited to hear local high school students speak on a topic covering the United States Constitution. Each contestant will make two presentations. The first one is a prepared oration on any aspect of the United States Constitution which they choose. It must be an original work explaining the student’s ideas or argument while emphasizing the duties and obligations of U.S. citizens.
The second presentation will be an extemporaneous or impromptu speech on one of four possible assigned topics. It should last between three and five minutes. The specific assigned topic is randomly drawn on the date of the contest. According to a press release from Post 109, contestants will not use notes or any other visual aids but select their Constitutional speech topic, develop their research, prepare, and present a well-developed speech from memory. A team of judges who are qualified to gauge the quality of each presentation, will independently grade the contestants. Monetary prizes will be awarded for first through third place. All participants must be a citizen and lawful resident of northeast Georgia. They must be a bona fide student under the age of 20; and enr o l l ed i n the n i nth through 12th grade of a high school or middle school (public, parochial, military, or state accredited home school). In 2016, the first-place winner, Will Maxwell, advanced to the state competition. Post 109 wants everyone to applaud the hard work and fine efforts of these students. There is no charge to attend the Jan. 28 event.