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!