Valley Stream, NY (November 2021)—On Monday, November 15, Valley Stream South High School held its first virtual Poetry Out Loud workshop. The online experience was led by Ms. Susan Willerman, Poetry Out Loud Teaching Artist, and South High School Creative Writing Teacher, Ms. Alison Rudin.
Poetry Out Loud is a National Arts Education Program that encourages students to study great poetry by offering free educational poetry materials and recitation competitions for students in high schools across the country. Ms. Maureen Henry, Principal of South High School, commented about the program, “The Poetry Out Loud program is a wonderful way to get students excited about expressing their feelings, emotions and perspectives through creative writing. The program helps our students build confidence, practice and become more comfortable with public speaking.”
In discussing the program, Ms. Vanessa Barbone, South High School English Department Chairperson, noted, “ This is our second year with the program, and the response from our students has been extremely positive. We were offered the opportunity to have three virtual workshops this year, which will allow more of our students to benefit from this outstanding program.”
In conducting the workshop, Ms. Willerman shared a poem by Emily Dickinson and discussed how that poem had inspired her. Afterward, students in the workshop read their poems out loud to their classmates and discussed the meaning and inspirations for their poems.
As part of the Read Out Loud initiative, students are encouraged to enter the Read Out Loud competition. Winning students at the school level – there will be two from South High School – will move on to the regional competition in January 2022. Winners at the regional level move on to state competitions and ultimately, to the national finals. Awards and placements are determined solely by the judges’ scores based on the Poetry Out Loud Evaluation Criteria.
For more information about the Valley Stream Central High School District, please visit: https://www.vschsd.org and ‘like’ our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ValleyStreamCentralHighSchoolDistrict