Freshman Represents HTHS at Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition

(Secaucus, NJ––February 16, 2021) Alexander Pereyra, a freshman in the CulSci Academy, represented High Tech High School at New Jersey’s Region 5 Poetry Out Loud competition, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of HTHS.

Encouraged to participate by HTHS English teacher Joan Marie Bellotti––who has supported the competition since its inception in 2005––Alexander bested his HTHS peers in a virtual competition this winter. As the HTHS champion, Alexander went on to compete at the regional level. Facilitated by the South Orange Performing Art Center on January 28th, 2021, the Region 5 competition was held virtually and brought together local winners from Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Union counties. Two winners were selected to compete for the title of state champ and to represent the state of NJ at the national event, slated for March, 2021.

Alexander performed “Lines Written in Early Spring,” by William Wordsworth, “American Smooth,” by Rita Dove, and “Auto-Lullaby,” by Franz Wright. Although he did not move on to compete for the state level, this freshman’s accomplishment was no small feat. As noted by Mrs. Bellotti, Alexander has a promising future with Poetry Out Loud.

Poetry Out Loud participants perform works from established and emerging poets with the goal of capturing the poem’s meaning and tone through recitation. Contestants are judged on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, overall performance, and accuracy. Winners at the state level receive a $200 prize and move on to compete at the national level, where prizes total over $50,000 for schools and organizations.

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