Four students at Bridger Middle School in Independence are on their way to a speaking event in Washington, D.C.

Bridger has worked with a program at Ford’s Theatre in Washington for several years. This year, 730 students worked on short speeches under the theme “This I Believe.” Of those, 50 were selected to speak, and the school has chosen four to move on to an event this spring. The four are:

• Lillian Schraml, whose speech is “Stay in School.”

• Emily Binnicker, “All Children Should Be Afforded a Free Musical Instrument.”

• Noah Smith, “Foster Care.”

• Jude McGraw, “A Free Future for America.”

The school is raising money to offset the costs. Those who want to help are asked to go to