“A lot of the stuff that the sixth graders are doing now is stuff that I don't think I could ever do,” said Prairie Lane sixth grader teacher April Bridwell.
It is a challenging assignment for middle school students.
“They are up in front of people without note cards, without notes, you know giving a speech,” said Bridwell.
Recently the ten sixth grade classes throughout District 66 were given the task of researching a hero or heroine.
"I didn't really want to do a boy, I kind of wanted to do something more about girl power,” said sixth grader Greta John.
But the students didn’t just learn about their person, in some cases they became that person. After six weeks of research, writing and copy editing, students compiled three to five minute speeches. Some performed their speech in first person, others in third person.
Eleven-year-old Greta John says she immersed herself in all things Malala Yousafzai.
“I wanted to get the word out about what is going on and that girls really do deserve education, so I decided to do Malala because she zones in on that subject,” said John.
One student from each school was picked to compete in a district wide speech contest. Greta’s hard work paid off, she advanced.
“Greta is just like I said, a natural,” said Bridwell.
Bridwell says the competition was tight, many of her students could have moved on.
“You don't have to be the top student to do a fantastic job,” said Bridwell.
Greta did not win the competition, but she like many of her classmates still came out winners with their new skills.
“It teaches things like self-confidence. You learn that you can really do things you set your mind to,” said John.