We strongly believe success in public speaking stems from a level of comfort and familiarity with it. To that end, public speaking opportunities begin as early as Pre-Kindergarten with events such as Show and Tell. Beginning in Kindergarten, student memorize lines for onstage performances. Each Lower School grade level takes the stage as stars of the show with at least one performance per year. In class, students practice public speaking daily through venues such as presentations, read alouds, role playing, and sharing their work. Our Creative Dramatics and Readers’ Theater classes also help students establish effective practices to project their voice, vary their tone, take on different characters, and most importantly, establish confidence in their ability to do so.
Oral recitation is a key component of our Language Arts curriculum. Students are instructed in areas of posture and presentation, memorization, use of voice, and interpretation. Participation on our Forensics or Debate teams further enhances these skills and provides a creative outlet for students.
Public Speaking is emphasized heavily in our Upper School. In all of our academic classes, faculty require that students participate actively in the discussion and also have the opportunity to speak in front of the class. Furthermore, the Academy takes public speaking to another level with the ability to participate in on our Mock Trial team, allowing students to compete against other regional schools in the Essex County Courthouse in either a civil or criminal case. In addition, public speaking can be practiced through events such as Open Mic Poetry nights and participation in our Preachers Organization, which allows students to speak during our liturgies. The Academy is always amazed how each of our young women have found their strong voices by the time they graduate and are ready to use them in the world.