Students qualify for Kansas State Poetry Out Loud competition

TOPEKA — Eight Kansas high school students earned the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Kansas State Poetry Out Loud Regional Competition at the Kansas Poetry Out Loud Regional contest to be held noon Saturday at Salina South High School, 730 E. Magnolia, in Salina.

The qualifying students and their schools are Mulu Bannister, Hays High School; Tricia Combs: Girard High School; Ashton Conley,, Wichita Heights High School; McKenna Cowles: Olathe South High School; Dori Jezmir, Blue Valley High School; Mehika Meesa, Blue Valley West; Santiago Vasquez, Salina South High School; and Jillian Vogel, Chanute High School.

The Poetry Out Loud program encourages Kansas high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition. This season, 1,499 students and 53 teachers from 20 Kansas high schools participated in preliminary contests.

The state champion receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in April in Washington, D.C., to compete for a $20,000 scholarship. In addition, the state champion’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.