From Left: POL Coordinator Ingrid Hjelmervik, 2nd place winner Grace Daniel, 3rd place winner Sydney Button, 1st place winner Sage Miller, Kathy Mazzaferro, executive director CCAC
On the evening of February 4, Calaveras and Bret Harte High School students gathered for Poetry Out Loud to recite poems like Diameter by Michelle Y. Burke, and The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allen Poe. Congratulations to Junior Sydney Button (CHHS), who took third place, Junior Grace Daniels, for her second place win, and first place winner sophomore Sage Miller (BHHS). On March 15, Sage will head to Sacramento to compete against students from around the state.
Poetry Out Loud, presented by the Calaveras County Arts Council in partnership with the California 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. Students first compete at a classroom level, then in front of five judges at each school; the top scorers advance to a county wide level. The winner at the county competition advances to a state competition in March, where they compete to go to the national finals in Washington, D.C. Prizes at that level are substantial; the national champion wins $20,000 and the runner-up wins $10,000.
Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Ingrid Hjelmervik congratulated the contestants from CHS and BHHS for their participation, as well as the teachers who supported the program. “Many thanks for our English teachers Ms. Behle, Bohler, Floyd, Hampton, and Van Buren for supporting this program,” she said, “and to Ms. Ann Mazzaferro for providing the CPAC for the competition.”
Kathy Mazzaferro, executive director of the Arts Council, said, “We congratulate all the participants on a job well done. We look forward to supporting our Calaveras champion, Sage, at the state competition in March.”
The Calaveras County Arts Council is committed to presenting Poetry Out Loud. Students interested in competing next year should contact their English teachers and start learning their poems now!
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