Return to Headlines

Project Soapbox Comes to Wilmington

Students from Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Conrad Schools of Science, Skyline Middle School, HB DuPont Middle School, AI du Pont Middle School, and Stanton Middle School gathered at Cab Calloway School of the Arts on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 to participate in the semi-final and final rounds of Project Soapbox: Wilmington, a youth public speaking competition presented by Mikva Challenge and the Red Clay Consolidated School District Social Studies Department.

The competition, sponsored by the Rodel Foundation and the Delaware Community Foundation, calls for young people to speak out on issues that impact them and their communities. Speeches included relevant research and evidence and provide the opportunity to persuade an audience to understand, act, vote or speak out on an issue that affects the community.

Project Soapbox started in Chicago in the inner city and was designed to empower kids and give them a voice. The soapbox speech originates from days past when speakers stood on a wooden crate or soapbox to elevate themselves as they spoke about a political or community issue. Today, through Project Soapbox, students learn about the qualities of a good speech and develop confidence and effective delivery techniques.

“We are all here to listen to these amazing student stories and help them find their voice,” said Holly Golder, supervisor of social studies for Red Clay.

The judges for the event were an exclusive group of educators, civic, business and philanthropic leaders from Wilmington, DE and the surrounding areas.  After some brief introductions and student warmups, groups proceeded to breakout sessions to start the semi-final rounds.  After lunch, the judges and contestants reconvened in the main auditorium for the final round. 

Wilmington’s first annual Citywide Public speaking competition was a huge success.  Congratulations to all eighty of the brave competition entrants for performing so admirably and a special congratulations for the inaugural winner  Ava Barton from Cab Calloway.