Sixteen-year old Angelique Flemming of St. Croix Central High School was victorious in the U.S. Virgin Islands 2014 State Recitation Competition, Poetry Out Loud, and advances to the national contest in April.
Flemming, the daughter of Barbara Flemming, came out on top among a dozen contestants in the Good Hope Country Day School’s James Savage Theater on March 8. She also made history by becoming the first student from the St. Croix district to win in the seven years of competition in the territory.
Because of her win, Flemming will represent the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation contest in Washington, D.C., held April 28 to May 2.
Before the territorial competition, the contestants participated in an hour-long radio show sponsored by Virgin Islands Council on the Arts on Da Vybe 107.9 FM with host Tasida Kelch, Poetry Out Loud coordinator and radio personality, and journalist Alvin Gee.
V.I. Council on the Arts representatives Betty Mahoney and Tasida Kelch conducted special presentations to the contestants and announced the winner. They congratulated Flemming’s coach and Advanced Placement English teacher, Nichole Miller, for her outstanding work in tutoring Flemming.
After successful pilot programs in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 and has grown to involve millions of students across the country.
Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to schoolwide competitions, then to regional and/or state competitions, and ultimately to the national finals. Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to D.C. to compete for the national championship.
The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.
The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the national finals.