KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- 22 Tennessee high school students from across the state will participate in the 2016 Tennessee Poetry Out Loud State Contest on March 19 in Nashville. The contest winner will go on as state champion to compete in the National Finals May 2-4 in Washington, D.C.
The competing students are:
Stephanie Bennett, Arlington High School, Arlington
Kesha Burton, Haywood High School, Brownsville
Alexia Buckner, Bolton High School, Arlington
Michelle Mellard, Brighton High School, Brighton
Marquavious Moore, Harding Academy of Memphis, Memphis
Abby Simpson, Saint Benedict, Auburndale
Bailee Ross, Briarcrest Christian High School, Eads
Sarahanne Ferell, Fairview High School, Fairview
Jakob Gonzalez, Daniel McKee Alternative School, Murfreesboro
Sidney McCarty, Clarksville High School, Clarksville
Ansley Moore, Franklin Road Academy, Nashville
Phoenix Tarpy, McEwen High School, McEwen
Grace Whitten, Battle Ground Academy, Franklin
Daysha Collins, University School, Johnson City
Marissa Corleone, St. George’s Independent School, Collierville
Caroline Garber, Providence Academy, Johnson City
Brennan Humphrey, Hardin Valley Academy, Knoxville
Margie Hussey, Baylor School, Chattanooga
Olivia Odem, East Hamilton High School, Ooltewah
Reniece Scott, Fulton High School, Knoxville
Carly Selby, Cumberland County High School, Crossville
Drew Zimmerman, Heritage High School, Maryville
The Tennessee Arts Commission will host the state contest on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Nashville Children’s Theatre. This event is free and open to the public.
Poetry Out Loud is a National Recitation Contest presented by The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission. Students learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition as they master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.
The state champion and his/her teacher will receive cash prizes and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for the national championship. The first runner-up and his/her teacher will receive cash prizes and the school will receive a stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.