Students from secondary schools in the US Virgin Islands territory participated in its annual recitation contest called Poetry Out Loud. The 12th annual competition, which was held this year on St Croix, took place on March 9. The initiative provided a great opportunity for students to connect with poetry through memorization and internalization of the poet’s message. It also gave students a chance to develop their public speaking skills.
This year’s event showcased young poets from ten (10) secondary schools in a dazzling display of oratory excellence. At the end of the competition, Mahlana Graham from the St Croix Seventh-day Adventist School emerged winner, while Angelica Sterling from the St Thomas Seventh-day Adventist School placed third in the competition. Mahlana will represent the Virgin Islands in the national recitation contest in Washington DC April 30-May 1.
An elated Graham, whose winning piece was ‘Her Head’ by Joan Murray, said, “I went intending to win and so I prayed to God to help me to remain calm and focused. I am glad I was able to represent my school, my family and myself”.
Education Director, Mrs Gerene Joseph, noted, “I am extremely pleased at the quality of the contest. All the contestants performed exceptionally well. However, I am overjoyed that our two schools placed in the top three positions. This is another evidence of the virtue of Adventist Education. We wish Mahlana well as she represents the territory on the National level”.
This is the second consecutive year that Mahlana Graham has been awarded first place in this territorial recitation contest.