Mila Fuentes of Trout Lake School and Isaac Lu of Cedar Tree Classical Christian School were the top two finishers of the Southwest Washington Regional Poetry Out Loud competition. Students from nine schools read two poems each at the event, held at Educational Service District 112 on January 24.
There was a three way tie for one of the two finalist spots, which resulted in the three student finalists re-reading one of their poems. Scores from the second reading determined the second finalist.
View the Entire Competition*
*Certain poems were under copyright restrictions and omitted from the competition video.
Fuentes and Lu will advance to the state-wide competition, which will be held on March 2, in Tacoma.
The state winner receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books. The runner-up in the state competition receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Additionally, $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends are awarded to the winners at the national finals.
The regional competition, presented by ESD 112, in partnership with the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Since beginning in 2005, more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 high schools across the country have participated.