Evanston Township High School senior Abbie Warhuswon a regional competition of Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Abbie competed against 15 other students from suburban Chicagoland schools on Feb. 19. She will be representing ETHS in the state competition in Springfield in March.

Poetry Out Loud starts in the classroom as an assignment to commit a poem to memory. More than 200 ETHS students performed poems at a school-wide contest on Feb. 6. The 16 ETHS school finalists were Yamila Blake-Lazu, Marjie Erickson, Sunshine Figlio, Genora Garcia, Caroline Granner, Fatouma Hewitt, Curtis Lowder, Leor Miller, Ben Moberly, Celia Nicolson, Daniel Ostrow, Hugh Robertson, Emma Rosengarten, Maggie Ruswick, Samsara Siler, and Abbie Warhus.

“Congratulations to Abbie and to all of the ETHS students who offered up the beautiful words and lessons of their poems, but most importantly offered lessons of persistence and courage through the act of memorization and performance,” said Julie Mallory, ETHS English teacher.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partner with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. More information about Poetry Out Loud can be found at poetryoutloud.org.