Boyne Falls Public School student Michael Whennen is pictured at the Kiwanis eddie essay contest. Whennen is one of two youth from Charlevoix County to participate in the statewide Poetry Out Loud competition this Friday.
On Friday March 4, 36 high school students from around the state will take center stage for three rounds of poetry recitation and the chance to be named 2016 Michigan’s Poetry Out Loud Champion.
Among the 36 Poetry Out Loud school champions competing for statewide honors are Michael Whennen of Boyne Falls Public School and Cloe Heise of Charlevoix Public Schools.
The competition, free and open to the public, will be held at the Library of Michigan/Michigan Historical Center, 702 W Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48915 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Recognition of Students and State Champion announced at 3:30 pm.
Forty-two Michigan high schools challenged their students to explore poetry while building public speaking skills through Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition for high school students.
At the state competition, 36 school champions will compete in three rounds of recitation for the chance to be named this year’s state champion.
The state champion receives a $200 cash award, $500 stipend for their school, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Michigan at the national competition this May.
The national champion will receive a $20,000 college scholarship.
Participating students come from across Michigan; many from Greater Detroit, East Lansing, Flint and Glen Arbor, as well as smaller northern cities in the northern counties and Upper Peninsula.
In 2015, State Champion Coral Brantly was a student from Petoskey High School.
Coral went on to represent Michigan in Washington D.C.
Poetry Out Loud is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation, and is hosted locally by the Michigan Humanities Council and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.