Poetry Out Loud winners named

POETRY WINNERS — On Dec. 19, eight Oak Glen High School students participated in the Poetry Out Loud school contest in the high school’s Little Theater. The eight finalists were selected from an initial round of classroom contests held in November, including, Jordyn Boyd, Morgan Harris, Baylee Jones, Gage Mackey, Caleb Minger, Annalise Murphy, Brooke Provenzan, and Jillian Reardon. -- Contributed

NEW CUMBERLAND — Oak Glen High School announces the winners of its school contest for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. This is the first time Oak Glen has participated in the contest.

The competition, presented in partnership with the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

On Dec. 19, eight Oak Glen students participated in the Poetry Out Loud school contest in the high school’s Little Theater. These eight finalists were selected from an initial round of classroom contests held in November: Jordyn Boyd, Morgan Harris, Baylee Jones, Gage Mackey, Caleb Minger, Annalise Murphy, Brooke Provenzano, and Jillian Reardon.

Winners of the school competition are Harris, first place; Jones, second place; and Minger, third place. They received gift cards from principal David Smith in the amounts of $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place.

Michelle Bernardi, English and French teacher, organized the school contest with help from the Oak Glen English department. Retired Hancock County teachers Judy Comm, Harriet Mastromichalis and Becky Vukas, served as contest judges for the competition while Elissa Greathouse, art teacher, served as accuracy judge and Amanda McKinney, math teacher, tallied official scores.

For the competition, students recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding and accuracy. Teachers introduced poetry recitation in the classroom using free, standards-based curriculum materials created by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, including a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, an online anthology, posters and video and audio on the art of recitation at poetryoutloud.org.

As the school winner, Harris will advance to the West Virginia finals March 3-4 at the Norman L. Fagan State Theater at the Culture Center in Charleston. In addition to contestants from all over the state performing poetry, the event also features guest speakers and celebrated performers.

Each champion at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship April 25-26. The state champion’s school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.

To learn more about the West Virginia state Poetry Out Loud contest, contact West Virginia state Poetry Out Loud coordinator James D. Wolfe or visit poetryoutloud.org.

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