Eight students eating pizza, not an unusual picture! But these eight are finalists in the Upper School Poetry Out Loud competition, winners from four ninth-grade English classes. This contest is not all that different from many classroom challenges at Waynflete, but these results are marked by pizza and iced tea—small recognition for the dedication and enthusiasm of these students toward study and presentation of the written word. These particular students succeeded with their class performances the week before Thanksgiving and now they are looking toward competing against each other in an assembly in January.
Poetry Out Loud is open to all Upper School students. The school competition, scheduled for an assembly the first week we return to school in January, requires that students recite two poems from memory in two rounds. The performances are assessed by outside judges according to rigid criteria, and cumulative scores will determine who will advance to the next level. Winners of our school competition will continue on to a regional competition, and those finalists participate in the Maine state contest.
The complete Poetry Out Loud anthology from which students select their poems (think ‘poem bank’) is quite far-reaching: varied lifestyles, viewpoints, attitudes, time periods, genders, and subjects. Most important, the anthology provides an encouraging avenue toward sensing the wonder and richness of spoken word—as students discover and develop their personal connections to literature and spoken language.
Congratulations to Sarah Acheson-Field, Avis Akers, Sophi Aronson, Thys Geldenhuys, Ella Hannaford, Morgan Peppe, Maya Turndorf, and Maren Wold! See you in January!