First ILC student to go to state; OK student also moves forward
Bela Moore, a freshman at the Methow Valley School District’s Independent Learning Center, emerged from Poetry Out Loud’s Feb. 3 Eastern Regional competition as one of two reciters who will advance to the state finals on March 12.
She is the first state finalist from the Independent Learning Center.
In the regional event, organized by Spokane Arts, participants competed in a remote-live format via Zoom, with judging also taking place live. Each participant recited two poems from memory. The other finalist in the regional competition is Malina Wiegel from Okanogan High School, who will also advance to the state finals, which will similarly be held in a “live-remote” format.
Both finalists were supported by Methow Arts, which made funding available for poetry performance coach Thome George to work with students from Okanogan High School, Liberty Bell High School and the Independent Learning Center.
Moore performed recitations of “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop and “That’s My Heart Right There” by Willie Perdomo. She emerged as the top competitor in a field of two at the ILC’s competition in early October. Adee Smith, a junior at Liberty Bell, also competed in the regional finals.
A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and state and jurisdictional arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life, according to the Poetry Out Loud website.
Poetry Out Loud in the Methow Valley is presented in partnership with ArtsWA, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and Methow Arts. The Public School Funding Alliance also directly supports the local program.