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Old Tappan Student Wins Poetry Out Loud Regional Championship

Jessica Walkowich, Claire Choi’s English teacher, Choi and Jeff Train, English teacher.
Jessica Walkowich, Claire Choi’s English teacher, Choi and Jeff Train, English teacher. Photo Credit: Contributed

OLD TAPPAN, N.J. – Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan sophomore Claire Choi became the school's second Poetry Out Loud Regional Champion Monday.

Choi competed at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood with 21 other students from Hudson, Passaic and Bergen counties in the North Jersey Regionals. All students participated in the first two rounds and recited two poems. Ten moved onto the final round, in which they recited one poem.

Two students were chosen to advance to the state competition. In the first two rounds, Choi recited, "For the young who want to" by Marge Piercy and "Echo" by Christina Rossetti. In the third round, she recited, "It Isn't Me" by James Lasdun. She and a student from McNair Academy in Jersey City will advance to the state competition.

Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan student Noah Jarrett won this competition in 2014.

Poetry Out Loud, a free national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, encourages high school students across the country to learn about great works of classic and contemporary poetry through memorization and recitation. Not only do they share their interpretation and delivery of poetry, they also vie for awards and scholarships totaling $50,000.

The New Jersey Poetry Out Loud state finals will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 17 in Ewing at The College of the New Jersey’s Center for the Arts.

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