Elgin students recite Gettysburg Address in competition - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Elgin students recite Gettysburg Address in competition

(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)

ELGIN, OK (KSWO) - The Gettysburg Address is probably something all of us have heard but reciting it by memory might be difficult.

Some Elgin Middle School students attempted to do just that on Tuesday at the school's first Gettysburg Address Competition.

One by one 19 students took the stage to recite it from memory. After the participants finished, the judges picked sixth-grader Margo Bradley as the winner because of her perfect performance.

Bradley said after watching all her friends she didn't think she'd win.

"At one part, I was like ‘Oh no, I might mess up on this and I was like okay, just keep thinking I got this.' It was really fun," Bradley said.

Her strategy for memorizing the Gettysburg Address was just writing it down over and over.

Seventh-grade teacher, Melissa Evon said the students were dedicated to being ready for the competition. 

"These kids came in at lunch, most of them gave up one lunch a week, to work with a teacher and just that's a big deal and so we're really proud," Evon said.

The school decided to hold the competition after seeing how successful it was at other schools at helping students to not only learn history but to also improve their memorization and public speaking skills.

Bradley said the hardest part was speaking in front of everyone. Evon said it can be a frightening experience, but participating in the competition helped students overcome that fear.

"In the very beginning four score and seven years ago they used to kinda quiver a little bit, but they're saying it with such conviction and confidence now," she said.

Memorizing this speech also helped Bradley learn more about President Lincoln and how he helped our nation become what it is today.

"I used to think he was just one of the presidents until I realized he was really important in all this," she said.

Each participant received a special coin and Bradley received a gift card and handmade Lincoln lamp.

Evon says they hope to do this again next year.

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