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Poetry Out Loud 2016 District Winners Announced

Monday, March 21, 2016
First place student will compete in the National Finals

Contact: Jeffrey Scott (DCCAH) 202-724-5613; [email protected]
(Washington, DC) - The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Poetry Out Loud District finals. Erica Jones, a 12th grader at McKinley Technology High School placed first and will go on to compete at the Poetry Out Loud National Championship at the George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium on May 3, 2016.

John Richardson from St. Anselm's Abbey School placed second and Daraiyah Irving from SEED Public Charter School placed third.

The District finals were hosted by DCCAH on March 15 at the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment studios. Eight high school students from DC public, charter and private schools competed. They represented Basis Public Charter School, Capital City Public Charter School, Columbia Heights Education Campus, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, McKinley Technology High School, SEED Public Charter School, Saint Anselm's Abbey School and Washington Latin Public Charter School. The evening was hosted by performing artist Paige Hernandez Funn and featured performances by teaching artist Regie Cabico and the youth of the Split This Rock DC Slam Poetry Team.

The March 15 District finals will be broadcast on the District of Columbia Network (DCN) in early April.

"Poetry Out Loud represents a crossroads of the arts, humanities and education," said Arthur Espinoza, Jr., Executive Director of DCCAH. "This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. We congratulate all the students who participated."

About Poetry Out Loud
Poetry Out Loud, a joint program of the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, is a national competition that seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry - recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of the oral art form of poetry, as seen in the slam poetry and spoken word movements. The program invites these dynamic aspects into the classroom, where teachers engage students through classroom memorization, performances and competition. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.