For immediate release: Mar 01, 2011
Posted by: [IAC]
Contact: Rex A. Van Zant
Phone: 317-232-1273

Warsaw student wins State Poetry Out Loud title

(Indianapolis, Indiana) - The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today that Zack Rooker, a student at Warsaw Community High School, Warsaw, won top honors in the 2011 Indiana Poetry Out Loud recitation contest. (Ed note: photo credit to Brian Drumm - Triple Play Photo)

Mr. Rooker was chosen from a field of 13 finalists from Indiana schools participating in this year's competition held February 26 at Indianapolis-Marion County Central Public Library.

Students representing high schools from around Indiana competed to determine the state champion. The student crowned State Champion receives a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the National Finals in late April. The National Championships feature competitors from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The State Champion's school receives a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books.

Students participating in the 2011 Indiana Poetry Out Loud competition included:

Aaron Bubeck, Broad Ripple High School, Indianapolis
Olivia Byely, Traders Point Christian Academy, Whitestown
Elizabeth Collier, Brown County High School, Nashville
Christina Green, Plymouth High School, Plymouth
Abigail Jackson, Columbus Christian High School, Columbus
Treh Dickerson, Lawrence North High School, Indianapolis
Marcia Jochem, Forest Park High School, Ferdinand
Alicia O'Neal, Anderson Preparatory Academy
Matthew Palombi, University High School, Carmel
Priya Parikh, Homestead High School, Fort Wayne
Zack Rooker, Warsaw Community High School, Warsaw
Nicole Schapker, Signature School, Evansville
Rachel Sieg, Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs,

In 2010, University High School student Elise Lockwood was crowned Indiana's Poetry Out Loud Champion. Indiana is in its sixth year of participation in the Poetry Out Loud program.

The National Poetry Out Loud competition, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and The Poetry Foundation, is designed to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which helps students master public speaking skills, build self-esteem, and internalize an appreciation for American literary heritage.

Finalists for the National Championship will compete for scholarship prizes totaling $50,000, with the National Champion claiming $20,000 in scholarship funding.

On behalf of the people of Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission advocates engagement with the arts to enrich the quality of individual and community life.


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