The Sumter County Alumni Association held its 15th Annual Essay/Oratorical Contest Friday. Students in K-12 were invited to participate.
The association is trying to help students develop public speaking skills.
For the competition, students wrote about their favorite person in black history and then presented their work.
"They have to be brave soldiers in order to get up there and speak in a crowd," said coordinator Shirley Guy. "And they have to learn it. They don't speak from paper or notes. They know it verbatim. They have rehearsed this material and so they're going to say it verbatim."
First, second and third place winners in each age category received savings bonds ranging from $50 to $100.