Learning about culture: Pictured far left and far right are teacher members of the Multicultural Committee Judith Gill, Social Studies, and Zahra Muhammad, Learning Support and Foreign Language. Between them are competition members, from left Kaz Godfrey, Daiquin Arorash, Jai Talbot, Akilah Acka, Germaine Dill and Rhyesheen Suragh.  *Photo supplied
Learning about culture: Pictured far left and far right are teacher members of the Multicultural Committee Judith Gill, Social Studies, and Zahra Muhammad, Learning Support and Foreign Language. Between them are competition members, from left Kaz Godfrey, Daiquin Arorash, Jai Talbot, Akilah Acka, Germaine Dill and Rhyesheen Suragh. *Photo supplied

“Multiculturalism is when diverse communities can come together to be equal,” “Multiculturalism allows people regardless of creed, colour or culture to integrate, share values and develop tolerance.” 

These were some of the opening statements made by students who competed in the first ever Multicultural Speech Competition at CedarBridge Academy.

The Multicultural Speech Competition is just one aspect of the monthly Multicultural events held at CedarBridge Academy during May. The students and teachers come to school in multicultural dress from other countries. 

Way of life

Students learn about the cultures that exist in the school and are asked to ensure they understand that culture is not just a dress, but a way of life — it can be religion, a type of dress, a way of living, beliefs that are beyond the mainstream. 

 “I was delighted with the participation of these students,” said Judith Gill, Instructional Leader of the Social Studies Department and a member of the Multicultural Committee. 

“It is difficult to be first, but these students demonstrated the possibilities of even becoming future debaters.”

A mentor worked with each student to help them work on the delivery of their speech and they had to research the topic and write their speech. 

The winner will be announced on Friday, during Multicultural Day, when students and staff are invited to participate in several school events designed to reflect the multiculturalism that exists at CedarBridge Academy. 

Students were judged by outside judges, students and members of the CedarBridge Academy staff. Head judge was Lovitta Foggo, Shadow Minister of Education.

 Another judge, Linda Franks, said: “I was impressed with the young people who served as judges. They did not present in the competition, but what they did was impressive.

“They were able to discern what the issues and strengths were with the speakers and they were able to give valid comments on each. 

“They were meaningful and helpful. They carried themselves extremely well.”

The speech competition was designed to encourage novice and experienced speakers to speak in a competitive fashion.