Senior places first at school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition


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Senior Mulu Bannister places at school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition in her first year participating. Bannister will advance to Regionals on Feb. 8.

Poetry Out Loud, a well-known poetry foundation, focuses on building self-confidence in young adults and helping them master public speaking skills.

Hays High recently held a Poetry Out Loud competition on Jan. 16.

The foundation awards a $20,000 scholarship to the first-place winner at the national competition, as well as others, totaling $50,000 in scholarships.

In the school-wide contests, senior Mulu Bannister placed first, advancing to regionals on Feb. 8 at Fort Hays State University.

Coordinator Codi Fenwick said this is the first year for all of the students who competed in the school-wide competition.

“This was also my first year as coordinator,” Fenwick said. “Previously, Kathy Wagoner was the coordinator.”

Fenwick said that, although she only recently became coordinator, she still encouraged her students to participate.

However, this is the first year Fenwick incorporated Poetry Out Loud into her curriculum.”

“In all three of my ELA classes, every student memorized and recited one poem in class,” Fenwick said. “We focused on memorization and presentation skills, as well as comprehension and interpretation.”

Fenwick said those who chose to compete prepared their second recitation outside of class time.

“I am pleased with the engagement in class and in the competition,” Fenwick said. “I plan to continue recitation exercises in all of my classes.”