Sunday deadline for Optimist essays

Contest focus is on Internet

The deadline for entries for this
year’s Optimist Club Essay Contest is Sunday, 31 January.

This year’s essay competition, open
to students younger than 19 as of 31 December, is on the topic “The Internet:
Today’s Evolution or Tomorrow’s Menace”.

Students are required to write
400-500 words on the subject.

“This contest provides a real
opportunity for students to develop and express their writing and critical
thinking skills,” said Elaine Harris, president of the Optimist Club of George
Town.

Schools throughout Cayman have
already received the entry forms and an independent panel will judge the
entries on 15 February.

The first place winner will receive
a trophy and there are also cash prizes and medals.

The winning essay in Cayman will be
submitted for entry in the Caribbean District Essay Contest finals in March,
where the district winner will receive a scholarship of US$2,500 and a plaque.
The winner of that competition will then be entered in the Optimist
International Contest.

The international contest winner will
receive a US$6,000 scholarship, while second and third place winners will
receive scholarships worth US$3,750 and US$2,250 respectively.

The Optimist Club is also holding
an oratorical contest which is open to students under the age of 16 as of 31 December,
2009. 

This year’s topic is “Cyber
Communication: Progress or Problem” and contestants are required to speak for four
to five minutes.

It will be staged publicly at the Harquail
Theatre on 20 March before an independent panel of judges who will judge the
contestants on their speech content, delivery, and poise.

Boys and girls will be judged
separately and there will be prizes in both categories.

“This contest is designed to
develop confidence and oratory skills, while providing an opportunity for students
to compete and interact with their peers both locally and overseas,” said Ms.
Harris.

Local Club winners will be awarded
cash prizes totalling US$2,000. In addition, the two first place winners can compete
in the Caribbean finals in Kingston, Jamaica in April where a plaque and scholarships
valued at US$2,500 each may be won.

Application forms are available at some
schools, Department of Educational Services, and via the Optimist Club Website
(www.optimist.ky) The deadline for receipt
of entries is 27 February. 

Ms Harris said that last year’s inaugural
oratorical contest attracted students from St. Ignatius, Triple C, Leading
Edge, PACE, and Cayman Brac High School.

“The Optimist Club is confident
that more schools will seize the opportunity to showcase the talents of Cayman
students, using this wonderful platform.

“The topic is very interesting and relevant and
we also hope that fellow students, teachers, parents, private and public sector
officials, and the general public will come out on 20 March not only to support
the contestants, but to learn from them,” she said.

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