FRANKFORT, Ky. — Poetry Out Loud school champions from 21 high schools across the Commonwealth will compete in Frankfort for the state championship. The state winner will compete in the national Poetry Out Loud recitation contest.
The state finals, which are open to the public, will be held Wednesday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT at the Capital Plaza Hotel, 405 Wilkinson Blvd., Frankfort, Ky.
Competing students are: Kayce Darley, Allen County-Scottsville High School; Conor Whalen, Ballard High School, Jefferson County; Alec Prew, Beechwood High School, Kenton County; Gabby Thompson, Boyd County High School; Riley Connor Dermon, Carroll County High School; Drake Porter, Fairview High School, Boyd County; Rachel Gowins, Franklin County High School; Curtlyn Kramer, Gatton Academy, Warren County; Barry Mullins, Grant County High School; Raleigh de los Reyes, Greenwood High School, Warren County; Jordan Smith, Harlan County High School; Celeste B. Shearer, Hart County High School; Dorthea Acker-Hogg, Hazard High School, Perry County; Ann Wu, Heath High School, McCracken County; Olivia Sizemore, Leslie County High School; Samantha Isbell, Lone Oak High School, McCracken County; Michael Cotten, Mercer County High School; Stuart Cook, Ohio County High School; Katy Gibson, Reidland High School, McCracken County; Jacob Phelps, Russell County High School; and Blake Sewell Snow, Western Hills High School, Franklin County.
Kentucky Poet Laureate Maureen Morehead, Hasan Davis and Normandi Ellis will serve as judges for the Kentucky state finals.
The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, launched in 2006, was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and is administered in partnership with the state arts agencies (like the Kentucky Arts Council) of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This program encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. It also helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.
Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the national finals.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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