Valley sends two to Spokane for Poetry Out Loud – Methow Valley News

Ade Smith

Two students from Methow Valley are heading to the Eastern Regional Poetry Out Loud competition in Spokane on Feb. 3: Adee Smith of Liberty Bell High School and Bela Moore of the Independent Learning Center (ILC).

A freshman, Moore emerged as the top competitor in a field of two at the ILC competition in early October. Smith, a junior at Liberty Bell, finished third in a field of 14. Typically, the first runner-up advances to the regional contest, but when the winner has a scheduling conflict, the runners-up take their place. Although rare, it has happened once before; in 2014, winner Claire Waichler had a conflict with a biathlon race, so runner-up Rowan Post took her place and then qualified for the state competition.

This year, senior Hazel Culpsmith won the Liberty Bell competition, but later learned that an international field trip would conflict with the state competition, which – in the tradition of Liberty Bell students before her – she would probably move on. First runner-up Leki Albright also has a scheduling conflict with the state competition, due to his participation in the National History Day competition. Fortunately for Liberty Bell’s long history of sending good performers to regional and national competitions, second runner-up Smith is willing and available to represent the school.

Talented group

Bela Moore

Kelly Grayum, the Liberty Bell teacher who runs the Poetry Out Loud program, said: “This year we had an extremely talented and motivated group of finalists for the Liberty Bell and ILC competition. Many contestants achieved high scores for their recitations. Adee followed up her second-place finish last year with equally confident and polished recitations this year. Adee is a top notch poetry performer, ready to head to Spokane and be an unrivaled contender for a spot in the state competition.

Moore will recite “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop and “That’s My Heart Right There” by Willie Perdomo. Smith will recite “Emily Dickinson at the Poetry Slam” by Dan Vera and “In the Basement of the Goodwill Store” by Ted Kooser. In addition to practicing in their spare time, the two students were mentored by Methow Arts poetry coach Thome George, who has been preparing students for regional, state and national poetry aloud competitions for years.

A partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and state and jurisdictional arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by providing free educational materials and a contest of dynamic recitation for high school students. Across the country. According to the Poetry Out Loud website, the program helps students master their speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

Poetry Out Loud in the Methow Valley is presented in partnership with ArtsWA, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and Methow Arts. The Public School Funding Alliance also directly supports the local program. These partnerships, said Grayum, maintain “a strong and vibrant poetic culture at Liberty Bell and ILC.”

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