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. Over the last twenty years at Byron-Bergen, hundreds of high school students have been involved in the program which culminates with the School-Level Competition.
This year’s School-Level Competition was held on January 12th in the Professional Development Room. Sixteen students from grades 10-12 competed. Students were required to memorize and recite two poems. All poems came from the Poetry Out Loud database. One poem had to be 25 lines or fewer and the other had to have been written before the 20th Century.
The Competition was judged by ELA faculty: Alana Penna, Amy Knell, Laurie Penepent, and Jason Blom.
Two students have advanced to the Semifinal Round held at Buffalo State University, on February 15, 2023: senior Libby Piper and sophomore Jade Wolff. Libby recited: William E Stafford's Traveling Through the Dark and Ella Wheeler Wilcox's Friendship After Love and Jade recited: Carl Sandburg's I am the People, the Mob and Edgar Allen Poe's To Helen.