Elk County Council on the Arts Announces Winners of Regional Poetry Out Loud Contest

Katie Dybowski (Provided photo)

RIDGWAY – The Elk County Council on the Arts announces the winners of the school contest for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest.

The student winners are Katie Dybowski from the Ridgway Area High School, who will advance to the state competition, and second runner-up Kayla Shutters and third runner-up Abigail Mosier, both from St. Marys Area High School.

The competition, presented in partnership with the Elk County Council on the Arts, 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 Jan. 18, students from the St. Marys Area High School and Ridgway Area High School participated in the Poetry Out Loud regional contest at the Elk County Council on the Arts.

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 region-wide competition, then to the state competition and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, D.C.

Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

During 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. Schools are welcome to download these resources at www.poetryoutloud.org.

Dybowski will advance to the Pennsylvania state contest in March at the State Museum in Harrisburg. 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 April.

The school of the state champion will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.

To learn more about the local Poetry Out Loud contest, contact Matt Frank, the Regional POL coordinator for Cameron, Elk, Forest, McKean and Potter counties, at pol@eccota.com or call ECCOTA at 814-772-7051.

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