The aim of Poetry Out Loud is to encourage the study and appreciation of great poetry. Students engaged in the program not only learn about their literary heritage but also build self-confidence through mastering public speaking skills. Now in its twelfth year of national competition, Poetry Out Loud has inspired millions of high school students to discover the beauty and brilliance of the literary canon.
More than 310,000 students from 2,300 high schools took part in the 2016–2017 Poetry Out Loud program.
2018 El Dorado County Poetry Out Loud Finals Announced
Friday, February 9, at 7 pm
Imagination Theater, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville CA
On Friday, February 9, 2018, six El Dorado County high school students converged on the Imagination Theater stage to compete for the title of El Dorado County Poetry Out Loud Champion. In the end, only one would move on to the State Finals in March to compete for the title of California State Champion. The house was full of friends, family, and poetry enthusiasts from all over El Dorado County who were anticipating an evening filled with the power of poetry. A guest panel of judges had trained, studied the poetry selections, and diligently prepared for this evening’s recitations. Each contestant would be evaluated based on several facets of their recitation including dramatic appropriateness, voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, and accuracy. Sometimes a winning recitation is arrived at based on a miniscule difference in points. After each recitation was delivered and the judges took time to score and tabulate the final results, Julian Sharwarko entertained the audience with classical guitar.
The results were scored, tabulated and agreed upon by the judging panel and the winning names were given to Master of Ceremonies Andrew Vonderschmitt, the Arts Council’s program manager, who announced the winners. Third place went to Kaitlyn Stahl of Ponderosa High School, second place was awarded to Sarah Allen of El Dorado High School, and first place went to Jordan Soto of Charter University Prep, who will don the title of 2018 El Dorado County Poetry Out Loud Champion. The crowd responded with uproarious applause as the trophies were handed out and the winners lined up for photographs.
Jordan Soto will compete against students from all participating California counties in Sacramento on March 18 and 19, 2018.
Round One of the State Competition will begin at 4:00 PM on Sunday, March 18, on stage at the Crest Theatre at 1013 K Street in Sacramento, and rounds Two and Three will begin at 8:30 AM on Monday, March 19, in the Assembly Chamber of the State Capitol at 10th and L Streets in Sacramento. Both competitions are open to the public.
The Arts Council assembled and trained a panel of luminary judges for the 2018 County Finals. These notable individuals were chosen for their unique qualifications, passion for the written word, and a drive to support this important program:
Jeanne Amos, Library Director, El Dorado County Library
Lester Brown, Vice President, El Dorado Arts Council
Mimi Escabar, Lifestyle Editor, Mountain Democrat
Tina Ferguson, Owner, Face in a Book
Joshua Fernandez, English Professor, Folsom Lake College
Taylor Graham, El Dorado County Poet Laureate
Terry LeMoncheck, Executive Director, El Dorado Arts Council
Jayne Moore, Senior Vice President, El Dorado Savings Bank
Beverly Schwarzberg, Senior Vice President, El Dorado Savings Bank
Wendy Thomas, Placerville City Mayor
2017 El Dorado County Poetry Out Loud
L-R: Olivia Robertson, Golden Sierra High School; Kaitlyn Stahl, Ponderosa High School; Anna Salvestrin, Union Mine High School; Kassidy Brown, El Dorado High School; Alessandra Jester, Charter University Prep; Zoey Eddy, Oak Ridge High School; Jesus Jimenez, Independence High School
Photography by Karen Schmauz
Jack Carman from Independence High School was honored during the County Finals as the first recipient of the Poetry Out Loud Outstanding Teacher Award. He was chosen by the Arts Council for inspiring creativity and fostering a deeper understanding of literature and poetry.
Photography by Karen Schmauz