Joseph Foster, a Stockton High School senior, was awarded first place at the Poetry Out Loud (POL) Southwest Regional Competition on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at The Creamery Arts Center. He will go on to represent the Southwest region at the POL State Finals in Jefferson City, MO on Thursday, March 9, 2017.
Students from nine area high schools competed in the POL Southwest Regional Competition: Central, Glendale, and Kickapoo from Springfield, Monett, Neosho, Nixa, Republic, Springfield Catholic, Stockton, and Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School from Joplin. The second place winner was August McGrail, a junior from Central High School.
Randy Stewart, KSMU Fine Arts Producer, returned as emcee for the event, which was sponsored and hosted by the Springfield Regional Arts Council (SRAC). Judges for the competition were Jordan Gloyd, Ingrid Bohnenkamp, Lyndsey Strahan, David Hill, and prompter, Avery Parrish. The winning student, Joseph Foster, will advance to the state level to compete for a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the POL National Finals.
The winner of the National Finals receives a $20,000 college scholarship and the winner’s high school receives $500 to purchase poetry books for their library.
POL was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating. POL has grown every year with more than 365,000 students competing.