MMI Preparatory School senior Chiara DeMelfi, daughter of Daniel and Esme DeMelfi, Hazleton, will be competing in the “Poetry Out Loud” Regional Competition. The competition will be held at the WVIA studios in Pittston on February 17 and will be televised in April.
DeMelfi and 13 other students from our region will compete, with the winner moving on to the state competition. Students are to recite two poems each and the top five will recite an additional third poem.
Faculty advisors to DeMelfi are Jennifer Novotney and Nancy Lotz. Novotney said, "I am so excited that Chiara DeMelfi will be representing MMI Preparatory School at the Poetry Out Loud Regional Competition this year. She blew us away at our school's qualifying competition and I know that she will be quite competitive. I can't wait to see her perform the poems in front of a larger audience."
The competition is part of the coupling of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation with U.S. state arts agencies. The idea of the contest is for the nation’s youth to learn more about great poetry through memorization and recitation, improving public speaking skills, self-confidence, and students’ knowledge of their literary heritage.
Poetry Out Loud starts at the classroom level, moving on to school-wide competition. Regional, state, and ultimately the National Finals follow. State final winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Finals. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.