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A Poetry Slam Dunk

January 24, 2018

Three Covington High students have advanced to the 2018 Poetry Out Loud State Championship.

Twenty-two students representing all eight STPPS high schools competed at the parish-level event held January 17 at Fontainebleau High.

Dejeune Richardson (first place), Grace McCullar (second place), and Justin Basse (third place) will compete at the Poetry Out Loud State Championship in March at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge.

Richardson finished first in the parish event a year ago and won the 2017 Louisiana Poetry Out Loud State Championship. She was one of the top eight finalists at the 2017 National Poetry Out Loud Championship.

Winners from each state will compete in Washington, D.C., for the 2018 National Poetry Out LoudChampionship to be held April 23-25 at the Lisner Auditorium on the campus of The George Washington University.

Created by The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through exploration, memorization, and performance. The inspiration for this competition is to promote the art of poetry in both the classroom and the community. Participants are scored on performance and accuracy by a panel of judges. The St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Affairs coordinates this competition for the students in our Parish.

To learn more about the Poetry Out Loud Competition and what students and schools can win through this competition, visit