If Dr. King was a presidential candidate

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Special to The Dallas Examiner

Lyriq Turner, a fifth-grader at Charles Rice Learning Center, took the top spot in the 24th annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition final. She and seven other finalists vied for first place on Jan. 15, at The Majestic Theatre.

Marcos Mares, a fifth-grader at William Brown Miller Elementary, took second place. Za’Kiah Bell, a fifth-grader at J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard, came in third.

The competition incorporated ideals from Dr. Martin Luther King’s writings and speeches. Eight fourth- and fifth-grade Dallas ISD elementary school students presented original speeches addressing the topic: “What would Dr. King say in his campaign speech if he were running for president this year?”

Approximately 135 students participated in the in-school competitions in October to qualify for 15 positions to represent their school in the semi-final round. Eight advanced to the finalists. Students were judged on their delivery, stage presence, content interpretation and memorization. Finalists receive monetary gifts in varying amounts.


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