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Mt. Abe, OV students to compete in poetry contest

BARRE — Two local high school students will compete in the 2018 Vermont Poetry Out Loud State Semi-final competition at Barre Opera House on Monday, March 12.
Mount Abraham Union High School senior Chloe Lyons and Otter Valley senior Calysta Hayes will be among students from 34 Vermont high schools representing 11 counties vying for the state championship in the national poetry recitation competition. The two local students are already champions, having won their high school’s competition and thus spots in the state competition.
This competition was originally scheduled for March 8, but was snowed out.
“The Poetry Out Loud program not only connects students to poets and poetry, it helps students develop transferable skills like communication and analysis that prepare them for college, career, and life,” said Troy Hickman, Vermont Arts Council education programs manager.
This year, 40 high schools and more than 5,200 students participated in classroom contests, with winners proceeding to school competitions. Each winner at the school level will recite at the semifinals in Barre. From there, ten students will be selected to compete in the finals on March 15 at the Elley-Long Music Center in Colchester. The finals will be aired live on Vermont PBS’ website and then broadcast on Vermont PBS on March 29 at 7 p.m. The winner of the Vermont State Competition then goes to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., in April.
Poetry Out Loud is a national competition for high-schoolers created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The program provides pathways for students to explore, memorize, and recite great works of poetry.
Participation begins at the classroom, where teachers engage students through instruction in poetry and performance and organize contests involving one class or a whole school.

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