Hundreds of high schoolers from across Iowa are converging on Ames for the all-state speech finals this weekend. Craig Ihnen, executive director of the Iowa High School Speech Association, says this is the culmination of a lot of practice by about 15-hundred students. For six weeks, the students have competed in local and district finals and now they’ll determine who’s “the very best of the best” in categories including: one-act play, choral reading, musical theater, group improv, ensemble acting and group mime. Ihnen explains why taking part in these events helps to build a better student. He says the association strives to help students become more effective communicators, something they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives no matter what career path they choose. At the start, 26-thousand Iowa students took part in this year’s competition from 120 high schools. The 15-hundred in Ames are the finalists who will be narrowed down to the final-final winners late Saturday afternoon.
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