Our Mission is to teach the art of public speaking, an appreciation for literature, reading and media arts literacy, college readiness, and life skills to youth nationwide from 7 to 18 years of age in preparation for advance education. The objective is to develop critical thinking skills in our youth and expose students to culturally sensitive literature written by authors and playwright whom they would not normally know about from the curriculum taught in their schools, but the exposure would enrich their educational experience. "An Appreciation for Literature" means African American Literature, Latin American Literature, Caribbean American Literature and Literature of the African Diaspora. "Youth" means ALL youth without discrimination but we are reaching out to low-income "at-risk" youth.
NJO was founded in 1985 by a small group of African- American corporate leaders concerned by the lack of formal language skills of young people interviewing for jobs in central New Jersey companies. Aware that communications skills play a major role in academic and career success, they established the first NJ Orators chapter. We have grown to 20+ chapters statewide, work with over 500 youth annually and receive requests for new chapters every year.
Chapters hold weekly meetings during the school calendar. Competitions are held twice yearly, exposing the orators to a wide range of talented peers and oratorical styles.
Coaching sessions for students are conducted over 31 weeks during the school year and are led by volunteer coaches. Coaches are professionals in teaching, corporate management, and former Orator graduates. Their role includes leading weekly lessons, literature and oratorical selection and competition preparation.
NJ Orators speak with eloquence, knowledge of their subject matter, and comfort in who they are. New Jersey Orators are leaders in school, church, and their communities. New Jersey Orators has been recognized by numerous communities and organizations, as well as the Manhattan Institute, for excellence as a volunteer organization.
NJO is looking for volunteers who can fill critical roles. You’re invited to contribute your time and talent to our growing legacy of success.