PARIS — Three local American Legion posts sponsored the annual national high school  oratorical contest, held Jan. 14 at the Western Maine Veterans Home.

Tabatha Hawkins of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School presented the winning entry at the local level. The theme was based on the Constitution of the United States. Extemporaneous talks, which follow the prepared orations, were also based on the Constitution.

Hawking moved on to the district level held at South Paris Legion on Jan. 19, winning that one as well. She will go on to the state contest.

All contestants speak on the same extemporaneous subject. Prepared orations run from eight to 10 minutes, with extemporaneous features running from three to five minutes.

The major purpose of the contest is to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Constitution. Other objectives are leadership, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently and preparation for the duties and responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.

The local contest was supported by Norway, South Paris and Oxford American Legion posts.

A national scholarship fund of $109,000, provided by the American Legion Life Insurance Trust Fund, is divided, with the state winner receiving a $1,000 scholarship. The department pays expenses for top orators to attend national finals.

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