Fifth through eighth grade students can be part of the speech team and participate in Declamation. Students may compete in either the fall term only, the spring term only, or both. In the fall, the St. Thomas speech team presents speeches at the fall I.E.S.A. contest, which is open to both public and private schools. In the spring, the speech students perform at the Bishop O'Rourke Speech Contest, which is open to Catholic schools in the Peoria area.
Students choose to memorize a pre-written speech and do a monologue, a duet, or a small group speech. Students at the seventh and eighth grade levels have the opportunity to do an improvisational speech instead. Each grouping of students meets with a coach one time a week before or after school for a period of six weeks. Students are able to practice at the end of this time in front of other classrooms at St. Thomas before presenting their speech at the contest.
Speech has many benefits, including an increase in confidence and communication skills. Students are able to develop pride in hard work, gain responsibility by meeting deadlines, and cultivate teamwork. Our school has a reputation and long history of outstanding performances!