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Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

October 2006 May 2007
South Carolina High Schools

The South Carolina Arts Commission is proud to partner with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the "Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest" to high schools in South Carolina. This national contest encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Forty-five high schools in 22 SC counties are participating.


Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest satisfies more than half of the NCTE English Language Arts Standards and includes high-quality free materials, optional lesson plans, and an extensive web site for teachers and students. In 2006, Poetry Out Loud awarded over $100,000 in prizes to students and schools at the state and national levels.


In 2006, the South Carolina Arts Commission piloted Poetry Out Loud in the Midlands of South Carolina, with eight high schools participating. Elizabeth Steppe, a sophomore from Richland Northeast High School, represented South Carolina at the National Finals in Washington, DC with talent and poise. The enthusiasm of the participating students and teachers was overwhelming.

 

In 2007, the South Carolina Arts Commission partnered with Hub City Writers Project, the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, The South Carolina Book Festival, The Humanities Council SC, and USC's South Carolina Poetry Initiative to take the program statewide.


The 2007 regional competitions for the Upstate, Midlands, and Lowcountry were held in February.

 

Poetry Out Loud South Carolina Finalists Caitlin Tuten-Rhodes, Samara Simmons, and Cara ShawSouth Carolina State Competition

The South Carolina Arts Commission is proud to announce the 2007 Poetry Out Loud winner for South Carolina. Samara L.A. Simmons from Academic Magnet High School in Charleston represented South Carolina at the national Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, DC on April 30-May 1, 2007.

 

First Place: Samara L.A. Simmons, Academic Magnet High School, Charleston
Samara L.A. Simmons is currently a senior at Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston. She has been performing dramatic poetry since the age of five. At age eleven, she began to perform her own original works of poetry at local poetry slams. To date, she has performed at venues for the Moja Arts Festival and Black Expo either as a featured poet or spoken word artist contestant. She uses her poetry as an instrument to inform the masses and raise awareness about certain issues. In the future, she hopes to perform on Deg Poetry Jam on BET and also perform for regional spoken word competitions in New York.

 

First Runner-Up: Cara Shaw, York Comprehensive High School
Cara Shaw has always seen herself as a better math student than English student, but she have a soft spot for poetry. Next year, she plans on attending Winthrop University and majoring in middle-level education and mathematics. Her dream is to become a math teacher in a school that is close to her hometown.

 

Caitlin Tuten-Rhodes, Ashley Hall, Charleston
Junior Caitlin Tuten-Rhodes enjoys playing softball, running and acting. Particularly adept at comedy, her most recent role was the page in the school's production of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. She often entertains her classmates with her vast repertoire of imitations and accents. An honor roll student, her favorite subject is Latin.

 

Other Finalists:
Jasmine Aye, Greenwood High School, Greenwood
Ashley Blanchard, Timberland High School, St. Stephen
Hallie Cardé. Richland Northeast High School, Columbia
Rachel Short, Chapin High School, Chapin
Erika Whatley, Fine Arts Center, Greenville
Kylie Witiak, Dutch Fork High School, Columbia

 

The state finals were part of a full day of poetry-related events sponsored by USC's South Carolina Poetry Initiative and the South Carolina Arts Commission, March 10th at the Columbia Museum of Art. Poetry Pops: Conference for Students and Teachers included workshops by distinguished USC faculty and a reading by special guest poet Sonya Sones.


Samara SimmonsNational Competition

The National Finals were scheduled in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2007. Samara L.A. Simmons from Academic Magnet High School in Charleston represented South Carolina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The 2006-2007 Poetry Out Loud program partners are Hub City Writers Project, the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, the South Carolina Literary Arts Partnership, and the South Carolina Poetry Initiative of the University of South Carolina.


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