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Students compete in Poetry Out Loud competition

Twelve Butler County students will spend the next several months preparing for the regional phase of the National Poetry Out Loud competition, which will culminate in a final contest held in Washington in early 2015.  Pictured are: Georgiana School’s Javares Thompson, Turner Vickery, Preston Hoffman and Demarcus Rich; McKenzie School’s Caitlin Wingard, Dejanae Adams, Lauren Pierce and Isabella Holt; and Greenville High School’s James French, Cordarius Longmire, Laun Pryor and Sellers Swann.

Twelve Butler County students will spend the next several months preparing for the regional phase of the National Poetry Out Loud competition, which will culminate in a final contest held in Washington in early 2015. Pictured are: Georgiana School’s Javares Thompson, Turner Vickery, Preston Hoffman and Demarcus Rich; McKenzie School’s Caitlin Wingard, Dejanae Adams, Lauren Pierce and Isabella Holt; and Greenville High School’s James French, Cordarius Longmire, Laun Pryor and Sellers Swann.

The Butler County School System has crowned its representatives in the 2014 Poetry Out Loud competition, held Oct. 9.

A dozen local students were chosen to represent the county in the competition’s regional phase, scheduled for January.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and, finally, competition.

The contest also extends to the state level, where each winner will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to compete for the national championship.

The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books, and one runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library.

Ultimately, the Poetry Out Loud competition will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends at the national finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship being awarded to the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Georgiana School, McKenzie School and Greenville High School each crowned four champions, first and second place winners for original and anthology categories.

Javarest Thompson and Turner Vickery won first and second place respectively for Georgiana in the original category, while Preston Hoffman and Demarcus Rich took first and second place in the anthology category.

James French and Cordarius Longmire won first and second place for Greenville High School in the original category, and Laun Pryor and Sellers Swann took the first and second place trophy in the anthology collection.

Caitlin Wingard and Dejanae Adams will represent McKenzie as first and second-place finishers in the original category, while Lauren Pierce and Isabella Holt will join them as the first and second place finishers in the anthology category.

The state finals will be held at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery on Feb. 16.