Five of the winners from the recent concours d’art oratoire

Five of the winners from the recent concours d’art oratoire

Young French speakers excel in SD62 contest

Six students move on to provincial French speaking competition

Local students from the Sooke School District will compete provincially next month after winning their categories at the district level in the Concours d’art oratoire, a French language public speaking competition.

Twenty-five students in Grades 4 to 12 competed in six categories, with the winner of each earning the right to compete at the provincials in Surrey on May 7.

The annual SD62 competition, organized by Canadian Parents for French, took place earlier this month at Belmont secondary.

Winners among early French immersion students included Sheyda Shams (Grade 8), Alexa Baldwin (Grade 7) and  Gracie Smith (Grade 6), while Shaan Brar (Grade 7) and Mataya Dorland Meagher (Grade 6) were among the winners in late immersion categories. One winner chose not to be named.

“Those who make it to the nationals in Ottawa have the opportunity to win grants of up to $25,000 to further their studies,” said Cendra Beaton, president of the Canadian Parents for French chapter in the Sooke School District.

“What an amazing impact this could have on a student’s education. We encourage all of our French programming students to participate yearly, with the hopes to one day win such a wonderful prize.”

The students involved have put in long hours, she said, spending months preparing speeches in their classrooms, crafting each word carefully, presenting them to the class and earning the right to compete at the district level.

For more information on Canadian Parents for French, go to