Students from across Valley learn public speaking at Peach Blossom Festival

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Thousands of students from around the Valley gathered at Fresno State on Thursday for the annual Peach Blossom Festival.

This festival helps students with public speaking and gives them a chance to visit a college campus.

In front of their peers, the students read out poems.

"It was exciting and it was kind of scary," recounts Viviana Andrade.

Andrade is a fourth grader at Wilson Elementary in Sanger.

She is soaking in every bit of this experience and even though she has a ways to go, she knows this will help her in the future.

"It makes me more brave because if I'm going to do a job where I'm going to have to be on stage and say stuff to a lot of people it

can help so I'm not nervous," she explains.

While Andrade wasn't too nervous to be on stage, for others, public speaking is a major fear.

Sarah Kneeland with the Peach Blossom Festival says public speaking is the Number One fear.

"We promote kids getting up there on stage, participating with others and getting comfortable doing those public speaking things so in their future - whether that be a job interview, group presentation, something doing a meeting - they will be prepared and a littl more comfortable for those positions that they are in," Kneeland says.

The students are judged, getting feedback on what they did great on or how they can improve.

Kneeland added this is also a great opportunity for kids to see the Fresno State campus.

This is something Andrade was looking forward to because she has her eyes set on being a performer.

"It was really fun because when I get older I want to come to Fresno State and hopefully I can be in the theater," she says.
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