24 students from grades 10-12 will be taking part in the 8- week Toastmasters Youth Leadership program at Elphinstone beginning January 28th this year.
Public speaking was introduced to the Elphi Youth Leadership Program by teacher Ms. Sarah Mani in collaboration with Morningstars Toastmaster Kay Wotton in 2012. The program has evolved over the years to allow students to polish their speaking and listening skills. Meeting weekly over eight weeks, students present two prepared speeches as well as undertaking various meeting roles including the chair, general evaluator, word master, and table topics.
A key to the success of the program lies in many students taking part during all three years they are at Elphinstone. The older students jump right into making speeches and role models for younger students allowing for seamless, interactive learning.
By noticing strengths in each other’s speeches and suggesting areas for improvement, students soon develop skills in providing positive feedback while learning how to ensure a message comes across more effectively. The Table Topics exercise during each meeting creates an opportunity for students to pull together on-the-spot responses to a current topic, thus preparing them for job interviews, impromptu meetings, and conversations.
Graduates of the program say it has provided them with confidence as well as effective tools in public speaking. This year, Jessica Carroll was appointed as student trustee on the SD 46 School Board while Gravity Guignard was selected as a Youth Councilor of the Town of Gibsons.
This year Toastmasters Sandy Wrightman, Darcy Davis-Case, and Kay Wotton will be assisting with the program.