The Block Island Times

Block Island School to participate in Poetry Out Loud

Mar 10, 2014

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and VSA arts of Rhode Island will hold the 9th Annual State Finals for Poetry Out Loud, the national recitation contest for high school students, on Sunday, March 16, 2014, 1 p.m. at The Metcalf Auditorium of the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art’s Chace Center.

High school students from throughout Rhode Island, including Block Island, will participate in the State Finals, reciting poems from memory. Rick Benjamin, Rhode Island Poet Laureate, will open the competition with remarks and a recitation. The event is free and open to the public.

Kim Woodward, Class of 2014, will represent the Block Island School at this statewide recitation competition at RISD on March 16.

Woodward is the second Block Island student ever to participate in this program. The first was Missy Conant, who came in among the top five in the state in 2010.

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 begins at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, D.C. More than 365,000 students across the country are expected to take part in Poetry Out Loud this year — more than 1,500 of them from Rhode Island.

Poetry Out Loud Rhode Island finalist receives $200, and their school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Second place finalist wins $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The state champion receives an all-expenses-paid trip (with a chaperone) to compete in the National Finals. The 2014 Poetry Out Loud National Finals take place April 28-30, 2014, in Washington, DC, at the Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University.

Contestants will recite works they select from an anthology of more than 500 classic and contemporary poems. Schools that are participating in the program this year include: North Smithfield High School; Portsmouth Abby; The Green School; The Guild School; Central Falls High School; Classical High School; The Paul Cuffee School; Burrillville High School; Barrington Christian Academy; Mt. Hope High School; Bishop Hendricken High School; Chariho Regional High School and the Block Island School.

“We want students to know that poetry belongs to everyone,” says Jeannine Chartier, Director of VSA arts of RI. “Poetry Out Loud is an inclusive program that welcomes all kids — with and without disabilities — from throughout our state to communicate and share with all Rhode Islanders the power of poetry.”

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