It was a day for poetry as performance art. Cresthill Middle School student poets celebrated their newly remodeled Library Media Center March 30 with …
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It was a day for poetry as performance art.
Cresthill Middle School student poets celebrated their newly
remodeled Library Media Center March 30 with a Poetry Slam
competition in four performances, featuring 17 finalists from broad
based classroom competition. Participants were judged on volume,
speed, clarity, body language and emotional impact— as listed in a
backstage reminder memo.
Students filled the library, brightly lit by a wall of windows.
Some shouted approval as their favorites competed.
Reghan Avery, who won 4th Place and a Tattered Cover gift card,
began the 9:35 a.m. performance with her “Don’t Worry Mom. There is
Horizon team teacher Jason Moore, who organized the event, said
his students all heard spoken poetry in a five-week study unit.
“It brings them to life,” he said.
“We began by viewing videos on National Slam Poet Finalists on
You Tube, as well looking at some performances on the White House
web site from a recent poetry performance. After that, we studied
classics from poets such as Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes and
Robert Frost. All of the students in my class chose a classic or
contemporary work to recite to the class (many wrote
In addition, each organized a collection of 10 poems on a theme
of their choice; baseball, beach, night time, etc.
Two other teachers, Ms. Jaworski and Ms. Hughes did the same.
Each of the three chose 15 semifinalists to compete for six slots
in the March 29 Slam. Judges at the noon and 1:40 p.m. performances
were Principal Sid Rundle, Librarian Holly Wagner, ESL teacher
Scottie Baer and childrens’ author Justin Matott.
In addition to Avery, awards went to Deja Augmon, first place
and Tattered Cover gift card for “Beauty,” which addresses the
pressure on women of all ages to achieve certain false standards of
“He made us to perfection. Treat yourself as the queen you
Her older sister is involved in the poetry slam scene in Los
Angeles, according to Moore.
Katie Sakys won second place and a gift card for her especially
dramatic performance of “Hated” and Kelly Gold, third place and a
gift card for “Bullies,” written from a personal experience about
two years ago, he said.
All the winners’ poems were original.
Other finalists were Dana Ruby, Albert Dayn; Ana Melkonian; Ben
Presnall; Anna Ring; Julia Sandoval; Zach Yates; Olivia Young;
Hanna Williamson and Sophia Moncayo.
Kate Lemons, Taylor Fishman, Heidi Hammond and Kenzi Garner
performed as a group, as did Krish Dholakiya, Hillary Vazquez and
All of the finalists received framed copies of their original
poems, Mr. Rundle will frame another set to display in the halls.
And, Moore is compiling student submissions of original poems for a
book of poetry that will be made available for students.
“I would like to put the challenge out to other middle schools
in Douglas County for next year’s Slam, as Cresthill would love to
host poets from Rocky Heights, Ranch View and Mountain Ridge in a
town-wide competition,” Moore said.
Parents have been really supportive of this project, he
continued, bringing in refreshments and donating money for
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