Kendra was able to accomplish her goal and more after she took first place in both the prepared speech and extemporaneous speech categories.
“I had a lot of help from my brother and my teacher, Mrs. (Veronica) Guerrero,” said Kendra, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Frank Wright Middle School in Imperial. “I’m really happy with how I did.”
Kendra said she knew what to expect going into this year’s competition given her first-place finish last year in the extemporaneous speech category.
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“This is my second time competing and I just like it because you get to meet new people and make new friends,” Kendra said. “I’m excited to go back to school and share my trophies.”
Kendra was one of more than 130 fourth- through 12th-grade students who competed in the tournament, which aims to improve the speech and communication of students who were taught English as a second language.
“By participating in this event, students are forced to think critically and challenged to know the difference between opinion and fact,” said Sandra Kofford, Migrant Education Program Region 6 senior director. “It helps prepare them for college in addition to making sure they are aware of issues pertaining to their community, nation and world.”
Students were notified in advance of the topics they would be discussing, which was helpful for the students and coaches.
“I made sure they could argue each side of their topic comfortably, because they don’t know which side they’ll get until the day of the tournament,” said Ashly Reitsma, migrant program debate instructor at Calexico High School.
This is the second year in a row Reitsma’s debate team has finished in first place, and she said she’s excited to see them compete at the state level later this year.
“The kids really came together and supported each other, which is great to see,” she said.
Calexico High senior Lilian Arellano said she is very proud of her team’s accomplishment and intends to defend their first-place title at the state tournament.
“When we got first at state last year it was so exciting,” Lilian, a 17-year-old student, said. “I’m so excited to be going back. I can’t wait.”
For the full list of winners read the online version of the Imperial Valley Press.
Staff Writer Karina Lopez can be reached at 760-337-3439 or email@example.com
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