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Heritage High Student heading to Poetry Out Loud State Semifinals in February

Heritage High School sophomore Iliana Fuentes Mendoza will represent LCPS at the Poetry Out Loud Semifinal Competition on Friday, February 2, 2024.

Mendoza and 400 students competed in the local Heritage competition, all of whom memorized two poems and demonstrated outstanding recitation skills. During the competition, students focused on six criteria: physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, and overall performance and accuracy. Mendoza performed Victoria Chang's "I Once Was a Child" and Audre Lorde's "Hanging Fire." 

Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide contest encouraging high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition. It starts in the classroom, where students can choose poems from over 900 works in the official anthology for Poetry Out Loud. The competition occurs every academic year and engages more than 100,000 students across Virginia to hone public speaking skills while building self-confidence. 

Poetry memorization and recitation deepen students' understanding and engagement with the text. For students in grade 10, like Mendoza, Poetry Out Loud aligns with the Virginia English Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework, Communication: Speaking, Listening, Media Literacy 10.1, in which students must assume responsibility for specific tasks; choose vocabulary, language and tone appropriate to the topic, audience and purpose; collaborate with others to exchange ideas, develop new understandings, make decisions and solve problems; evaluate one's role in preparation and delivery of oral reports; and analyze and interpret other's presentations.

Published January 23, 2024