JIS News

Brandon Foster-Dublin, a nine-year-old student at Bartle Elementary School in the United States and second generation Jamaican, took the Platinum Medallion in the poetry category of the New Jersey Orators Statewide Oratory Competition last month, at the Sampson G. Smith Middle School in Somerset.
Dublin who performed his favourite poem Song of the Blue Mountain Stream by Jamaican poet Reginald M. Murray and Claude McKay’s Spanish Needle and Flame Heart, was thrilled with his performance. “I worked really hard and so I was very happy when I won,” Brandon said.
The New Jersey Orators was founded in 1985 by a group of African-American professionals who saw the importance of providing young people with a medium in which to express themselves and to harness their talent of the spoken word.
One of the original founders, Lynette Lyons, explained the importance of encouraging young people to harness the power of their voices. “Our children need to be effective communicators; this project helps them to become better at speaking to various audiences,” Ms. Lyons stated, adding that, “it gives them confidence and does a tremendous job of building their self-esteem.”
Today there are 15 chapters throughout New Jersey, and approximately 500 students participate each year in eight different categories which include, but are not limited to, original oratory, extemporaneous speech, declamation, oral interpretation of prose and poetry.
However, Brandon Foster-Dublin, who is the son of Jamaican-born Council woman Elsie Foster-Dublin (of Highland Park, New Jersey) and her husband Aubrey, is not content to rest on his laurels; he is already preparing for another statewide competition set to take place next May.

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