The Mepham sophomore stunner is now slated for Syracuse!
Mepham sophomore Candace Casimir attended, and won, the Poetry Out Loud Regional Competition held at Nassau Community College in Garden City on Friday, February 9th.
Candace, a student in Ms. Malone’s English 2 Honors class and a member of the Skull and Bones Drama Club, won the Mepham Poetry Out Loud competition in December with her recitation of Snow Day by Billy Collins. She and runner up Anna Mouras were invited to represent Mepham at the Regional Competition.
Each participant at this level was tasked with preparing three poems for the competition, the first two for the preliminary rounds, and the last reserved for the championship round. All nineteen participants were from high schools in Queens or Nassau County, and they were among the top two scorers in their school competitions. Candace’s flawless recitations of Art vs. Trade by James Weldon Johnson and Snow Day put her on the list as one of the top 7 scoring readers to participate in the final round along with Anna and a senior named Nicole Formisano from John F. Kennedy High School.
The competition was fierce, with all readers in the final round offering captivating recitations of their last selected poem. In the end, Candace wowed the crowd (and the judges) with her thoughtful interpretation of Friendship After Love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Candace and runner up Alisha Guitierrez from Valley Stream Central HS will attend the New York State Poetry Out Loud Competition in Syracuse on March 9th, where each student will vie for a chance to compete nationally.
Creative Writing students from Mepham, Calhoun and Grand Avenue enjoy a unique workshop experience.
Students enrolled in Ms. Maresca's Creative Writing I class at Mepham High School traveled to Calhoun High School on Monday, December 18th to participate in a poetry writing workshop with Long Island poet Billy Lamont. Lamont, who has conducted similar workshops for students elsewhere in Nassau County, shared some of the poetry he has written through the years, discussed his creative process, and led students through various creative writing prompts. The workshop, which was funded by a BMCHSD Mini Grant awarded to the English Department, concluded with a performance poetry showcase where student participants had an opportunity to share some of their own creative work. A similar workshop will be hosted at Kennedy High School in January for students from Merrick Avenue Middle School and MAP.
The winners of Mepham's 11th annual schoolwide Poetry Out Loud contest are 1st Place – Candace Casimir (10th grade), 2nd Place – Anna Mouras (12th grade), and 3rd Place – Kiley Coen ( 12th grade). Casimir, who took 3rd place in the 2016 competition, will be joined by Mouras as both students compete in the Nassau County Regional competition at Nassau Community College on February 9th for a chance to compete at the state level.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 school in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Student competitors begin at the classroom level, and winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC.
The winning students are pictured above with Ms. Nicole Maresca, who teaches English and Creative Writing and also moderates Fragments, Mepham’s literary magazine, and English Chairperson Ms. Mary Donnelly.
On Monday, November 27th, Ms. Donnelly met with the Mepham High School PTSA to give a brief overview of what's new in the English Department. The presentation focused on AP offerings for English and the three new electives that will be offered for the 2018-2019 school year. Download the presentation slides below.
The central purpose of any school summer reading program is usually a rooted in an attempt to combat the “summer slide” that often occurs when students take long breaks from academic instruction, but what happens when the book (or the list of books) from which to choose does not appeal to you? Do you wrestle your way through it? Do you abandon it? Do you (GASP!) skip the assignment altogether?
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC.
Mepham's competition is organized by Ms. Nicole Maresca with the help of English Chairperson Mary Donnelly and the Mepham English Department. 2016 marks the 10 year anniversary of Poetry Out Loud here at Mepham.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, December 13th, approximately 80 students filed into the Choral Room after school to watch 24 classroom winners recite their poems for a chance to advance to the regional competition to be held at Nassau Community College on February 3, 2017.
3rd place winner Candace Casimir was the first to perform. Candace, a 9th grader, read “Art vs. Trade” by James Weldon Johnson.
2nd place winner Samantha Pepe, a senior, was also a first time performer in Poetry Out Loud. She read “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes.
And this year's champion, 12th grader Taylor Drew, offered a soulful interpretation of “Their Bodies” by David Wagone.
Both Samantha and Taylor will represent Mepham High School at the Nassau County Regional Competition at Nassau Community College on February 3rd with the hopes of advancing to the State championship.
The Bellmore-Merrick School District welcomes you to attend the 2nd Annual Bellmore-Merrick Writers Festival, an evening for students, faculty and families to enjoy original poetry, fiction, and non-fiction performed by students and staff from throughout the district. This year's event will be held Wednesday, February 8th, at 6:30pm in the Brookside Auditorium.
Lorraine Conlin, the Nassau County Poet Laureate (2015-2017), is the special guest emcee and keynote speaker for the evening. As Special Events Coordinator of Performance Poets Association, Lorraine hosts events and readings at Sip This in Valley Stream and at the Bellmore Bean Cafe. She has created programs for Veterans and for Breast Cancer awareness throughout Nassau and Suffolk and hosts “Tuesdays with Poetry,” at the Bellmore Memorial Library for “Poets in Nassau.” She is also a Board member of the Bards Initiative, a Long Island Poetry Organization/
The cost of admission is $3 for students and senior citizens and $5 for adults. All proceeds will be used to support literacy locally and nationally, with donations to be used for the creation of a book section in the Bellmore-Merrick Community Cupboard as well as to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which provides books to young children of low-income families throughout the country.
There will be a 50/50 raffle and raffles for gift cards from local merchants. School merchandise and concessions will also be available for sale.
For more information or to register to read, click here.
Veteran broadcaster, radio personality and musician Joe Rock from WBAB radio and Joe Rock and The All Stars visited Mepham High School today to visit with students in Ms. Cooney's and Mr. Stein's Broadcasting classes, Mr. Grosskreuz's Public Speaking class, and Senior Experience with Mr. Achtziger, Ms. Bender and Ms. Wagner.
Joe Rock spoke extensively about his career in radio broadcasting and in television, but also spoke frankly with students about the important soft skills needed for success in any career, such as having an awareness of audience and purpose, the importance of speaking correctly, and appropriate social media use.
He also stressed the importance of respect, noting that anything students post on social media is subject to review by potential employers.
"You're in the public eye every day. Do the best 'you' that you can," he said.
Building on the success and enjoyment of last year's Poetry Invitational, English teachers Ms. Melanie Sirof and Ms. Nicole Maresca are once again joining forces to host a second Poetry Invitational at Mepham High School on Tuesday, January 10th from 9am to 1pm. Approximately 60 students from schools throughout the region have been invited to participate in the event, which includes reading, writing, and celebrating the written word through various teacher and Mepham alumni-led workshops. The event will complete with a Slam Poetry Showcase where selected students will perform original poetry for the group.
Save the date! The Annual Mepham High School Poetry Out Loud schoolwide competition will be held on Tuesday, December 13th after school in the choral room. Winners of this competition will be chosen to represent Mepham at a Long Island regional competition in February with the hopes of advancing to the State and National finals!