The best part of this job is to be able to go and see the competitions put on by participating schools. I love how each school creates their own version, adding fun and interesting ways to engage students as well as audience members!
Arlene has been able to make it to several: She says:
What a great week visiting with these schools! The students and teachers were so excited! The formats and environments at these schools were quite different from each other. Most notably were the way in which rounds were set up. Another was the choice of judges. At one school, the judges were mainly members of the community, while at another they were teachers (and the prompter was a seventh grader). It all seemed to work for the schools!
A few notes that might be ideas for others to try:
A school featured a table with coffee,
chocolates and cookies in the center as you enter the room. Also, there was a
large, white sheet cake with the Poetry Out Loud logo imprinted on the cake
–how cute is that!
A school had two middle schoolers
performing first for calibration. They were incredible!
At one school, the music was from a boom
box with one of the middle schoolers singing live. He was great! Very bluesy
At another school, in lieu of an interlude, the MC shared interesting facts about the poet whose work was just heard - great idea!