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Poetry Out Loud

“The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation have joined together to create Poetry Out Loud, a program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Piloted in 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to include hundreds of thousands of students across the country” (Poetry Out Loud Teacher’s Guide).

Participation in the program has remained consistent at Byron-Bergen. Over the last fifteen years, hundreds of high school students have been involved in the program which culminates with the School-Level competition in the high school auditorium. This year’s School-Level competition was held on Wednesday, January 8th. The following students participated:

Peter Smith                             senior

Hannah Van Skiver                 senior

Jillian Menzie                          senior

Sadie Cook                             sophomore

Ella Van Valkenberg              sophomore

Libby Piper                             freshman

Josh Tardy                               freshman

According to district Poetry Out Loud coordinator, Ms. Penna, “These were collectively the best performances we’ve seen in a number of years.” This year’s winners were freshmen Libby Piper and Josh Tardy who will advance to the regional-level competition at SUNY-Brockport in February.

Ms. Penna, Mr.  Tomidy, Mrs.  Penepent, Mr. McNeil, Mr. Blom and Mrs. Knell-Chrzanowski serve as faculty advisors. For more information, visit

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