Winners of Yes We Will school competition inspired by Barack Obama to be announced on Inauguration Day

Winners of a competition for secondary pupils in Birmingham inspired by Barack Obama will be announced on January 20 2009 – the day he is inaugurated as the first black President of the US.

A special award ceremony will be held at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham on January 20, both to celebrate Obama’s success and the achievement of the pupils who are judged winners of the competition inspired by his journey to the White House.

The competition launched on December 15 2008, challenged Year 10 and 11 pupils to produce a piece of creative work inspired by the election of Barack Obama. Competition titles include: Positive About Being Black; Positive About Being of Mixed Heritage and What Could Obama’s Victory Mean To Us As Young People? Other entries can include writing a letter to Obama, writing an article, a poem or a speech, or a report on how the US population voted.

The historic election of Barack Obama as the first black president of the US in November, inspired senior education adviser and author Dr Lorna Cork to develop the competition and a series of events and learning activities on behalf of Birmingham School Effectiveness, to motivate pupils towards academic achievement.

On December 15 the ‘Yes We Will’ programme was launched at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham where pupils from Albans CE School, Four Dwellings High School, The College High School and George Dixon International School gave exciting presentations to demonstrate the ways that Barack Obama has inspired them.

Dr Lorna Cork said: “The programme is designed to help pupils develop their literacy, numeracy, communication and social skills. We will follow-up and support the pupils in their schools as they make their final preparations for GCSE examinations in May and June 2009”.

The ‘Yes We Will’ programme, which builds on Obama’s famous phrase used during the election campaign “Yes We Can”, encourages pupils to reflect on their own aspirations for the future and to focus on their learning as a route to achieving their dreams.

One of the pupils who attended the event on December 15 said: “I believe today was fantastic because it inspired me as a person to do better and keep my head up high”.

The deadline for the competition is January 12 2009. Full details are available on the Birmingham Grid for Learning website.

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Name: Lorna Cork
Phone: 0121 303 8393