The Scarlet Scroll

Finding Your Voice: Poetry Out Loud

Claire Van Eenenaam and Emma Moore

%28From+left+to+right.%29+Grace+Danon+%28first+place%29%2C+Jane+Huynh+%28second+place%29%2C+and+Kat+Delaney+%28third+place%29.+
(From left to right.) Grace Danon (first place), Jane Huynh (second place), and Kat Delaney (third place).

(From left to right.) Grace Danon (first place), Jane Huynh (second place), and Kat Delaney (third place).

(From left to right.) Grace Danon (first place), Jane Huynh (second place), and Kat Delaney (third place).

Claire Van Eenenaam and Emma Moore

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On Thurs., Jan. 28, 2016, five students at Mater Dei High school vied for three finalist spots in the Poetry Out Loud competition.
Poetry Out Loud provides students with the opportunity to win a $20,000 scholarship by reciting poems. Melissa Jacobson, English teacher and Poetry Out Loud moderator at Mater Dei, has been apart of the program since it started at the school five years ago.
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 “Poetry Out Loud is an opportunity for students to not only explore their own personal creativity but to deeply engage with one of the most powerful art forms that humanity has,” said Jacobson.
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 All students, from Performing Arts to the Speech and Debate class, are encouraged to participate. English teachers even offered an optional assignment for students who recited one of the 900 poems available for Poetry Out Loud contestants to pick from.
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Jacobson is especially awed at the process of choosing a poem.
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 “It’s inspiring how by some magic of poetry, when students are looking through that list of poems, a particular poem reaches out and grabs them,” Jacobson said. “It certainly is incredible to watch a student perform and see how well they can display their connection to the poem.”
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 The contestants were judged on memorization, connection and display of understanding to the poem, physical presence on stage, voice and articulation, which includes the level of drama in their performance. Sophomores, Grace Danon and Jane Huynh, and junior Kat Delaney, are the three finalists continuing on to the county competition. The competition was held on Feb. 3 at the Orange County Board of Education.
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Grace Danon placed first on Wednesday and is moving on to the state competition in Sacramento Feb. 28 and 29. Jane Huynh was placed second and was announced as the alternate status for the state competition. Kat Delaney tied for third.
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“It has been wonderful to see the level of work and commitment that the individual students put forth and I get to see it all, so it’s really fun,” said Jacobson.
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The Student Newspaper at Mater Dei High School
Finding Your Voice: Poetry Out Loud