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Young Author Identifies Skills Learned at New Jersey Orators

Eloise Samuels, Founder New Jersey Orators, Inc.

Monday, November 25, 2013 • 7:17am

Incorporating the skills learned in school and as an active member of New Jersey Orators, Inc.  has helped her express herself not just as a speaker but as a writer too.  As her mother Jennifer Wilner puts it … “I think the strongest benefit of the New Jersey Orators, Inc. (NJO) is teaching children to be confident public speakers…Not necessarily in front of thousands of people initially, but just their peers (to start). In life, they need to be comfortable talking to people. It's a life skill that they will fall back on through their elementary and secondary school years, at college, with job interviews and all through life. “ 

The online publication Metuchen Matters shared: ” Young artists in town are participating like crazy in June bug this year.” On June 28th, at To Be Continued Bookstore, Alexis Wilner, from Edison will be reading from her own self-published book, "The Public Speaking Life of Alex Tins." Alexis, however, is only eleven years old. Metuchen Matters asked her to take us through her process and answer some questions about this remarkable achievement.     “http://www.metuchenmatters.com/2013/06/eleven-year-old_author_reads_from_latest_work_at_to_be_continued.html

Alexis begins her book by sharing a scene in which her character is participating in a public speaking event. She’s happy to mention NJO in her book, which she self published this past June and only as a fifth grader. At the Orators, students practice public speaking and leadership skills to enhance their self-confidence. 

It is the mission of New Jersey Orators to improve the public speaking skills of New Jersey children between 7 and 18 years of age, thereby, increasing their self-confidence, academic success, leadership skills and ability to maximize career choices and academic success.   The organization has been doing just that for 29 years now.  They have over 500 children that participate throughout NJ and PA in their annual competitions (as many as twice a year).

New Jersey Orators, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) volunteer organization founded in 1985 by a small group of New Jersey African-American corporate executives who set out to improve the language skills initially for African-American youth but it has expanded since then. They teach the skills to youth from ages 7 to 18 years, in preparation for roles of leadership and employment.

The prime objectives of the Orators program are

  1. language mastery in nine categories of public speaking,
  2. an appreciation for literature and reading literacy,
  3. enhancement of self-esteem,
  4. assistance in career selection and other life skills,
  5. engagement of parents in their children’s development


The Oratorical training consists of about 32 weekly meetings coinciding with the school year and participation at their unique statewide competitions. With an annual membership of almost 500 students, there are chapters throughout the State of New Jersey (Freehold, Hillside, Lakewood, Montclair, Morris County, Neptune, New Brunswick, Newark, Orange, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainfield, Scotch Plains, Somerset, West Windsor-Plainsboro, Willingboro) in eight counties (Burlington, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris County, Ocean, Somerset and Union). There are over 200 volunteer coaches, and almost 100 volunteer judges, timekeepers, and assistants involved with the program. Five (5) Co-Founders, who comprise the Executive Board of Directors, and a volunteer Management Board, manage the organization. The New Jersey Orators headquarters is located in Somerset, NJ. To find out more about the organization, go to their website at www.njorators.org or call their headquarters office at 732-846-5011.

**Photo courtesy of David Glasofer/Image Up Studios 


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