DERRY TOWNSHIP — Hershey High School sophomore Jordan Marie Lewis will represent Pennsylvania in the 2019 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest in April after her recent victory in the contest’s state championship at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
The Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest will be held on April 30 and May 1 in Washington, D.C.
Lewis was one of 15 state finalists welcomed by the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, which hosted the statewide event.
“Today we celebrate the evocative language of poetry and the remarkable talents of these 15 high school students from across the commonwealth,” said PCA executive director Karl Blischke in his welcoming remarks at the statewide contest. “Participation in Poetry Out Loud helps students cultivate key skills that lead to success in school and the workplace, building Pennsylvania’s future pool of innovators and creative thinkers.”
As a reward for winning the state contest, Lewis received a $200 prize from the Poetry Foundation and an expense-paid trip to the national championship, where contestants will vie for a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends — including one award of at least $20,000.
Adam Schram, a senior from the Delta Program in the State College Area School District in Centre County, took second place in the state finals.
Nearly 5,700 students from 118 schools participated in this year’s state contest. The 15 regional finalists were invited to Harrisburg for the state championship.
Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.
The contest is facilitated through PCA, working with regional partner organizations.
Each student memorized and prepared three poems selected from print and online poetry anthologies. All 15 students performed in the first two rounds of competition, with the top five of going on to compete in the third and final round. Students were judged on voice and articulation, physical presence, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance and accuracy.
The complete list of 15 regional finalists includes:
- Joy Agummadu, York County, York Regional Academy Charter School
- Andrew Decker, Luzerne County, MMI Preparatory School
- Aliyah Hunt, Mercer County, Hermitage School District
- Nicholas Jacobson, Union County, Lewisburg Area School District
- Junius Jones IV, Montgomery County, the Haverford School
- Jordan Marie Lewis, Dauphin County, Derry Township School District
- Hannah Lysia Mogford, Berks County, Reading School District
- Ceresa Morsaint, Beaver County, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School
- Jacob Newman, Elk County, Johnsonburg Area School District
- Adam Schram, Centre County, the Delta Program: State College Area School District
- Lisette Shields, Lehigh County, Salisbury Township School District
- Jacquelyn Spicher, Jefferson County, DuBois Area School District
- Maleah Stouffer, Columbia County, Bloomsburg Christian School
- Rebecca Walker, Somerset County, Somerset Area School District
- Sarah Zakrzwski, Blair County, Tyrone Area School District
For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit poetryoutloud.org.