Every February, Greenwood students take to the stage, one after the other, to recite the historic Gettysburg Address before an audience of faculty, family and judges from around the world. First, Second and Third place ribbons are awarded to winners for orating excellence. It’s an annual Greenwood tradition documented in Ken Burns' film "The Address." Once the students have memorized and recited The Address, they are welcome to memorize alternative speeches and poems.
Learning Abraham Lincoln’s inspiring 1863 call for freedom and equality does not happen in days or weeks. It’s a longer process, where teachers work with students individually, teasing apart every word for context, significance, and finally, for memorization.
Despite sitting through many young men delivering The Gettysburg Address every year, it never gets tiresome. Emotions run high as the audience anticipates success for each student stepping up to the podium. Speeches start with anxious silence and close with relief, applause and tears. It’s a monumental accomplishment for anyone, let alone those who have struggled with language based learning differences. Participating in Greenwood’s annual event is a milestone for both students and their families.
Ken Burns & "The Address"
The Ken Burns documentary, "The Address," was released in 2014 commemorating the 150 year anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s historic Gettysburg Address. In his 90-minute film, Ken Burns marries the historic significance of Lincoln’s timeless message, with a sensitive look at Greenwood students memorizing and reciting “The Address” at our annual gathering.
Learn The Address Competition
Inspired by the film, more schools across the country have adopted the Greenwood tradition of having their students memorize, recite and compete for excellence in delivering The Gettysburg Address. Now every Spring, since 2014, participating schools serving students with learning differences, send their local winners to compete on a national level as well.
In 2016, we were honored and proud of Hector, The Greenwood School Sophomore from Dominican Republic, who earned First Place in the 3rd annual "Learn the Address Competition." It was an especially stunning accomplishment for a young man who speaks English as a second language.
Meet Greenwood's Middle and High School students placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the annual Gettysburg Address recitation.
Greenwood's High School & Middle School 1st place winners, traveled to Washington to participate in the 4th national "Learn The Address" competition. Alex was a runner up while both students enjoyed a tour of D.C.
Ken Burns’ documentary, THE ADDRESS, features the students of The Greenwood School as they prepare and perform their annual recitation of Lincoln’s historic Gettysburg Address.
Representing The Greenwood School, Hector won first place in the 3rd annual, "Learn The Address" national competition.