Wilkes County announces district winners of Poetry Out Loud contest

Staff Report

WILKESBORO — Wilkes County announces the winners of the district contest for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The student winners are sophomores Morgan Worsham and Vanessa Chaquea of Wilkes Early College High School.

The competition, presented in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council, 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. More than 185 high school students from East Wilkes High School, North Wilkes High School, West Wilkes High School, Wilkes Central High School and Wilkes Early College High School participated in the Poetry Out Loud school contest.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a district-wide competition, then to state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, D.C. Over the past 11 years, Poetry Out Loud has reached more than 3 million students and 45,000 teachers from 10,000 schools nationwide.

At school, 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.

The Wilkes County winners advanced to the state contest on March 3 at Triad Stage in Greensboro. 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 in the spring. The school of the state champion, Danielle Coan of Early College of Forsyth, will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials.

To learn more about the North Carolina Poetry Out Loud contest, visit poetryoutloud.org.

Staff Report