First Black History Oratorical Fest: A Big Success!

There was much to celebrate at Longfellow Middle School on Thursday, March 22, during the uplifting Oratorical Fest for elementary and middle school students.

Focused on Black history around the theme “Speak and Inspire,” the event brought out families from elementary schools across the district and all three middle schools who marveled at the live competition in poetry, spoken word, speeches and skits. Students competed either as individuals or groups, and the material selected ranged from original to already published.

The Oratorical Fest was organized by the staff from our Office of Family Engagement and Equity and BUSD parents. The distinguished panel of judges included Ben Bartlett, Erin Rhoades, Paula Phillips, Karen Hemphill and Tosha Eagles-William. A big THANKS to all who participated by helping students motivate and prepare to speak, and for all those who came out for the event!

Competition Winners:

Elementary individual

1st – Ashea Noguera-Arunga; Emerson

2nd – Keziah Anderson; Washington

3rd – Kaelon Colston; Jefferson

Elementary group

1st – Kahlil Powell, Kellen Dixon, Laniyah McGee, Michael Hammond; Thousand Oaks

2nd – Fatoumata Kamatch, Aminata Signateh, Michia Smith, Jayme Lawrence, Amaya Heard; Rosa Parks

3rd – Kian Malcolm, Cormac Lee; Emerson

6-8th grades, individual and group combined

1st – Teddy Berry; King

2nd – William Sanders; Willard

3rd – Ian Hudnut, Kaiel Taylor; Willard Wang; Willard

Congratulations to all student orators for their participation!


1st row and left photo in 2nd row – competitors; 2nd row right photo – judges; 3rd row – a few winners, with Ann Marie Callegari, Supervisor of Family Engagement and Equity, shown in the red shirt and green jacket in both photos. Photos: Mark Coplan

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