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Florida High School Students Win Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest
Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning recently announced the winners of the state finals of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest, which took place at the R.A. Gray Building, in Tallahassee in celebration of National Poetry Month.
Chris Robinson from the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville (Duval County), won first prize in the State Finals of the national competition, sponsored by the Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Department of State. Robinson will compete in the National Poetry Out Loud Finals, which takes place in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2007. In addition to the all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC, Robinson will receive a $200 cash prize, and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books for its media center.
Emelda Agustin from Plantation High School in Plantation (Broward County) received the Second Place prize, which included $100 in cash. Plantation High will get $200 for its media centerís poetry collection.
Ariel Danley from Thomas Jefferson High School in Tampa (Hillsborough County) won the Third Place prize. Honorable Mentions were given to Fourth and Fifth Place winners Ross Chuchla from Seminole High School in Sanford (Seminole County), and Athia Choudhury from Timber Creek High School in Orlando (Orange County).
Students from 15 Florida school districts participated in the contest in this second year of the program. Judges for the contest came from English Department Faculty of Florida State University and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. Florida literary publishers Anhinga Press and Apalachee Review supplied the contestants with a sampling of Florida poetry anthologies to take home with them.
Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, is a program of The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a federal agency, and the Poetry Foundation, which encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Schools in each state participate in classroom and school-wide contests, advancing to state competitions. In 2006, Poetry Out Loud awarded more than $100,000 in prizes to high school students and schools at the state and national levels in its inaugural year. The Poetry Out Loud National Champion will win a $20,000 scholarship prize.