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School Speech Contest Details
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School Speech Contest

Instructions for participants*

"Hunger in America" is the topic for the 2016 School Speech Contest.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 48.1 million people lived in food-insecure households in 2013. This means that at some points during the year, their households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food because of insufficient resources. Approximately 8.6 million of these individuals were children. Students are asked to explore this issue of hunger in America from an individual, local, state or national perspective.

In organizing their speeches, students may choose to consider the following questions or present on their own aspect of the topic:

  • Who is affected by hunger?
  • How does hunger in the United States compare to hunger in other countries?
  • How does hunger impact my school or community?
  • What are some of the contributing factors to hunger?
  • What can individuals, communities or governments do to combat hunger?

Students may use these questions to help formulate ideas, but they should not be limited by the list.

Speeches must be at least three minutes and no more than five minutes long. Speeches must be in the student’s own words.

Judging criteria 

Contestants will be judged using the following 100-point system:

40 points for material organization
This accounts for theme and subject adherence, structure, content, logic and color.

40 points for delivery and presentation
This includes voice, pronunciation, enunciation, gestures and poise.

20 points for overall effectiveness
This scores impression and effect.

Contest dates

The contest can be held any time from January through May, on a date chosen by the principal or teachers of the participating school. 

Materials provided: 

  • Informational brochure for students.
  • Certificates for all participants.
  • Gold-plated pins and trophies for top contestants.
  • Plaque for schools and winners at each school.
  • Appreciation gifts for judges, timer and contest organizer.
Rules summary
  1. A minimum of 10 students must participate.
  2. The contest must be held between Jan. 1 and May 31.
  3. A School Speech Contest order form must be completed and submitted to Modern Woodmen each year, at least 30 days before the contest.
  4. Speech content must be each student’s own thoughts and words on the topic outlined above.
  5. No costumes, visuals or props may be used at the contest. If used, 50 points will be deducted.
  6. At the school’s discretion, speeches may be memorized or notes may be used, but students must be notified of the decision two weeks before the contest.
  7. Each speech must be three to five minutes long. Penalty points will be assessed for speeches over or under the time limit.

How to request 

Use our Find a Representative feature or call our home office at (800) 322-9805. If you have used the School Speech Contest before, you can request it online.

* The School Speech Contest can only be used by schools.

School Speech Contest 2016:

"Hunger in America."

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