2016-04-28 / Life Currents

Earning speech letter a learning experience in English

Lettered in speech AnnaMaria Greco Ginoldi, center, a foreign exhange student from Italy, earned her letter and first year pin in Speech. On hand for the presentation at the Staples Motley High School were, left to right: her brother, Andrea, mother, Paola, father Gianfranco Greco Ginoldi; Olivia Klefsaas and Jenessa Iverson, SMHS speech captains and Heidi and Kai Brings, host family. (Submitted photo) Being involved in American culture was an experience AnnaMaria Greco Ginoldi of Italy was ready for. The youngest of three, her two older brothers had been foreign exchange students. This year it was AnnaMaria’s turn, coming to Minnesota in August, 2015, to complete a full year of high school at Staples Motley. Her American hosts are Heidi and Kai Brings and family of Staples.

At 16, AnnaMaria was talented in many areas including music. While in choir, she and other foreign exchange students started talking about trying speech.

“We thought it would be a good experience,” she said, “and I thought, we’ll, give it a try - we were all going together.” They went as a group, but soon, AnnaMaria was participating by herself.

She said it was hard, but with help from volunteer coaches Heather Sams and Frank Odell, she became a member of the SMHS speech team competing in the category of Informative Speaking. “That’s where you write your own speech. Others, they give you something to read. I wanted to write my own which was about coltan, the mineral for electronics that is mined in the Congo through child labor.”

After writing her speech, she wanted to focus working on her pronunciations and proper English.

Looking back through the speech season Anna- Maria said, “It was something I did by myself. I completed the season and in that I succeeded also.” She participated in the meets and won several awards, just missing a chance to compete in higher contests.

“I met many new people in my travels for speech,” she said, “and my confidence is greatly boosted.

My English improved.”

AnnaMaria’s parents and eldest brother arrived in the United States for a visit April 14, after the speech season had concluded. They were able to join AnnaMaria at the high school as she was awarded her letter. The family is taking a trip to Duluth,

Chicago and other upper midwest areas before returning to Italy. Anna-

Maria will fly back home in June.

“I will be putting my letter and pin up in my room as I will not be affording a letter jacket,” she said. “And I am proud and thank especially those who helped with my speech career.”

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