Training kids to be leaders

Free course offered by Toastmasters

A free youth leadership program is being offered by the Oak Bay Toastmasters Club for kids ages eight to 12.

The eight, 90-minute sessions will be held weekly, starting March 1, and will teach kids how to communicate effectively and learn leadership skills – both important attributes to instill in children as they become tomorrow’s leaders, said John Sherber, who runs the program.

“Learning these skills at an early age improves self-esteem,” he said. “It gives them a head start.”

Sherber said it’s amazing to see how quickly shy, young children become confident and engaging speakers in a matter of weeks and it helps kids become more involved and vocal.

“If they have a message or want to present their ideas (this program gives them a) step up,” Sherber said.

The youth leadership program will be held at the Oak Bay Library’s Oak Bay meeting room from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Register by calling 250-592-2489 or at

Oak Bay Toastmasters Club is part of Toastmasters International, a nonprofit organization that helps members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills.

There is also a Victoria-area Junior Toastmasters, known as the Gavel Club, for youth under age 18.

More information about Oak Bay Toastmasters can be found at