FLINT TWP. — Olivia Van Duyne, a tenth grader at Carman-Ainsworth High School, won the school’s Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest and will advance to the state competition on Friday, March 13, according to a press release.
Van Duyne was one of 15 high school students who participated on January 27, in the Poetry Out Loud school contest at the high school auditorium.
The competition, presented in partnership with the Michigan Humanities 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.
Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, D.C.
In the 2014-2015 school year, Poetry Out Loud is celebrating its tenth anniversary, reaching more than 2.7 million students at more than 9,500 schools nationwide in the past decade.
At Carman-Ainsworth, students recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 800 classic and contemporary poems. Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, level of complexity, 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.
Van Duyne will compete at the state level competition Friday, being held at Lansing Community College. 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 28-29. The school of the state champion will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.
To learn more about the Michigan Poetry Out Loud contest, contact Judith Dworkin at the Michigan Humanities Council or visit www.poetryoutloud.org. — Rhonda Sanders