Olivia Vereb, left, earned first place and Kelcey Dodd took second place last week at the Poetry Out Loud Regional Competition in Rockford. (Photo provided by Rockford Area Arts Council)
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Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — Two Jefferson High School students will compete in the statewide Poetry Out Competition after earning the top two spots last week at the regional contest in Rockford.

Olivia Vereb earned first place and Kelcey Dodd took second place last week. The state champion, who will be announced March 7, advances to the Poetry Out Loud National Semifinals on May 1. The finals are scheduled for June 5, when $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

The competition, presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Illinois Arts Council Agency, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

“We acknowledge all the classroom teachers who initiated this program in their classes and motivated their students to participate,” the Rockford Area Arts Council said in a news release announcing the winners.

The program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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