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Duncombe Dreams: 3rd Grader Wins School's Speech Contest - from The Messenger

March 9, 2021

Gretta Pratt holding certificate

Gretta Pratt has a dream. She has a dream that everybody gets along and is treated equally. She has a dream that people help others because it’s the right thing to do.

The Duncombe Elementary School third-grader shared her dream in a speech contest at the school last month. She was announced as the winner on Monday.

“Nobody should feel bad about how they look,” Pratt continued in her speech. “We should all be kind to each other and have respect for each other, no matter who we are.”

Pratt’s Duncombe Dream continued with ways she can help others, including opening a business where she can hire people who don’t have jobs or money.

“So nobody has to be poor,” she said. “People don’t deserve to live out in the streets just because they can’t get money.”

Gretta Pratt shaking hands with Ryan Flaherty

Pratt also wants to create a place where people can go to have fun and relax.

“I like to help people because people need it and they need someone to support them when they don’t have somebody there for them at a hard time or just in general,” she explained. “They need somebody to lean on when they need help the most.”

The Duncombe I Have a Dream speech contest was started last month in honor of Black History Month. Duncombe Principal Ryan Flaherty invited community members Bryce Presswood, a school resource officer; Charles Clayton, executive director of Athletics for Education and Success; and Dan Altman, associate pastor at New Covenant Christian Church, to help judge the couple dozen speeches submitted for the contest.

Last week, the judges narrowed the entries down to the top seven and then rewatched the speeches and voted again, naming Pratt as the winner.

Flaherty was impressed with the content and delivery of Pratt’s speech.

“She’s just really well-spoken,” he said.

Flaherty said he hopes the Duncombe Dream speech contest becomes an annual event during Black History Month.

In her speech, Pratt ended with a solemn vow.

“I will try my hardest.”

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