News: JAS slated to host speech contest
Story by Lance Cpl. Charles Clark
IWAKUNI, Japan - Preparations are underway for the 50th Annual Japanese American Society Speech Contest, which is scheduled for Nov. 6 at Iwakuni Sinfonia Concert Hall Nov. 6.
Preparations are underway for the 50th Annual Japanese American Society Speech Contest, which is scheduled for Nov. 6 at Iwakuni Sinfonia Concert Hall Nov. 6.
The speech contest was created to bring the Japanese and American communities closer.
The contest is open to all Matthew C. Perry Elementary and High School students.
Deadline to turn in an application to compete is Oct. 14.
The contest will require American participants to prepare speeches in Japanese and the Japanese children to rehearse speeches in English.
The contest helps participants from both sides of the spectrum with learning, writing and speaking English and Japanese.
JAS has Japanese tutors available to help children with their Japanese in preparation for the contest.
“Everything is free,” said Ralph B. Mora, JAS president. “The sign up for the contest and the tutors is completely free. We want the children to participate in this, have fun and learn how to speak Japanese and English better.”
The children participating in the contest are required to write their own speeches and are put into different age groups. Each group’s speech requirements are different. The older children have longer, more advanced speeches than younger participants.
Any student interested in competing is encouraged by the JAS to sign up at M.C. Perry Elementary and High School front offices.
“This is our biggest event of the year. We want as many students there as we can get,” Mora said. “The more students who participate, the more fun and entertaining the contest will be.”
Judges for the contest are from not just the station community, but the Iwakuni City community as well.
M.C. Perry Elementary and High School principals as well as a high school Japanese teacher are scheduled to judge the English speeches.
“The hand movements, voice control and accuracy with the language are the biggest factors we will look at during the speech contests,” said Morgan Nugent, M.C. Perry High School principal. “We want the speeches to really grab our attention and keep the audience interested from start to finish.”
Some M.C. Perry students are already working on their speeches.
“This contest is a great way for us to show everyone how hard we have been studying,” said Jazmin Braswell, an M.C. Perry 10th grade student. “I am looking forward to hearing the other students’ speeches.”
Approximately 50 volunteers continually help with the contest.
Volunteers are the invisible force behind the contest, Mora said. They organize and produce everything from the plaques, trophies and certificates to contacting the Japanese and American schools for children to participate.
Prominent members of the station, Iwakuni city government officials and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force personnel and other important Iwakuni community figures are slated to attend the contest.
All station residents and Status of Forces Agreement personnel are welcome to attend.