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Poetry Out Loud State Finals Set for This Sunday at Old South Meeting House


Twenty-four students from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts advanced from this weekend's four regional semi-final competitions of the 11th annual Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest to compete in the State Final competition on Sunday, March 13 at the Old South Meeting House (310 Washington Street, Boston). The event begins at 9:30am and is free and open to the public.

The competing students are:

Kaylee Andrews, Agawam High School (Agawam, MA)

Hannah Moran, Algonquin Regional High School (Northborough, MA)

Olivia Phillips, Bishop Feehan High School (Attleboro, MA)

Michael Gao, Boston Latin School (Boston, MA)

Angel Vargas, Burlington High School (Burlington, MA)

Patrick Kitchen, Dartmouth High School (Dartmouth, MA)

Grace Moore, Dexter Southfield School (Brookline, MA)

Keisha Durden, Foxborough Regional Charter School (Foxborough, MA)

Jillian Guzzetti, Franklin High School (Franklin, MA)

Matthew Murch, Groton-Dunstable Regional High School (Groton, MA)

Shaina Perates, Haverhill High School (Haverhill, MA)

Caroline Rice, International School of Boston (Cambridge, MA)

Nina Gillette, Ipswich High School (Ipswich, MA)

Emily Su Bin Ko, Lexington High School (Lexington, MA)

Amadine Muniz, Martha's Vineyard Regional High School (Oak Bluffs, MA)

Samantha Mitchell, Monument Mountain Regional High School (Great Barrington, MA)

Marya Makuc, Mt. Everett Regional High School (Sheffield, MA)

Ben Cohen, Needham High School (Needham, MA)

Levi Baruch, Ralph C. Mahar Regional High School (Orange, MA)

Michael Peterson, Randolph High School (Randolph, MA)

Meloee Nazaire, Revere High School (Revere, MA)

Courtney Stewart, Springfield Central High School (Springfield, MA)

Amanda Szczawinski, Swampscott High School (Swampscott, MA)

Hannah Pimenta, Taunton High School (Taunton, MA)

The 24 finalists were selected from more than 21,000 students that competed in recent months in classroom and school-wide competitions. Seventy-five school winners competed March 5 and 6 at regional semi-final competitions in Boston, Framingham, Springfield, and on Cape Cod. A complete list of the 87 POL-participating high schools can be found at the end of this release. Massachusetts ranked fourth in the nation for both number of students participating and for number of teachers participating. National rankings include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

The Huntington facilitates the Massachusetts competition with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The program is facilitated nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition that celebrates the power of the spoken word and a mastery of public speaking skills while cultivating self-confidence and an appreciation of students' literary heritage as they take poetry from the page to the stage. Since its inception eight years ago, Poetry Out Loud has inspired hundreds of thousands of high school students to discover and appreciate both classic and contemporary poetry.

The Massachusetts Poetry Out Loud winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC this coming spring to compete in the national finals.

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