JHS Senior Chiara Raimondo Wins WNY Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition

Headed to Syracuse for the New York State Poetry Out Loud contest for the second time in her high school career, JHS senior, Chiara Raimondo, is poised, practiced, and ready to compete on March 14th .

In December, nineteen JHS students recited poems before an independent panel of judges in the JHS auditorium. Students were evaluated on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy during their poetry recitation.

One of the two senior JHS winners, Chiara Raimondo, headed to Buffalo on February 2nd to compete against other western New York high school winners. The other JHS winner, Cellyann Semidey will head to Brockport on February 23rd to compete in the Finger Lakes regional competition.

Raimondo placed second the Western New York Regional Poetry Out Loud competition at Erie Community College with her recitation of three poems:  “Bleeding Heart” by Carmen Gimenez Smith,  “The Pulley” by George Herbert, and “Passing” by Toi Derricotte.

“I became involved in Poetry Out Loud through my JHS College-Level Public Speaking class, taught by Mrs. Price,” said Chiara. “Having competed at Regionals twice before and placing second in the state, I feel as though I have some experience that other competitors might not have. I love watching the audience’s reaction to my performances. By emphasizing certain words or changing my inflection, I can breathe life into a poem’s story. It’s been such a valuable experience.”

On March 14, Chiara will travel to Syracuse, New York with her former English/ Public Speaking teacher, Barbi Price, to compete for the New York State Poetry Out Loud title. The winner of the New York State contest will then proceed to the National Finals at George Washington University in Washington DC, where the winner receives $25,000.

“Chiara has a beautiful vocal range and an instinctive ability to intuit a poem’s deeper meaning. She chooses poems that showcase her abilities, takes direction very well, and performs with maturity and confidence, ” said Mrs. Price.  “Part of the fun of Poetry Out Loud is seeing the students blossom as public speakers. Not only do they learn more about the beauty of poetry, but they also gain valuable confidence and skills that transfer to other activities and real-life experiences.”

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with state arts agencies to create Poetry Out Loud, a program which invites the dynamic aspects of poetry and the spoken word into JHS English classes. Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self- confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Students who study, memorize, and perform timeless poems are immersed in powerful language and provocative ideas.

posted on 02/11/2016 - filed under: Academics, ELA, JHS, Spotlight, Students