Congrats Russell Heitmann for Stellar POL Nationals Performance
Posted on 06/12/2012
The Nebraska Arts Council congratulates Russell Heitmann, a high school junior from Hebron and Nebraska’s state Poetry Out Loud Champion, for his stellar performance at the national Poetry Out Loud championships held in Washington, D.C. May 14-15, 2012.
The Nebraska Arts Council coordinates Poetry Out Loud (POL) for the state. It is part of a national program, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.
Fifty-three students from every state, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. V. I., and Puerto Rico participated in one of three semi-finals, broken down roughly by geographical region. Heitmann began the competition in Semifinal Two, which was composed of state champions from eighteen states in the Midwest and South Central region. His recitations of "Poem with One Fact" by Robert Bringhurst earned him a place among the top nine competitors selected for the Final Competition held on May 15. The NEA sponsored a live streaming webcast of the national POL finals, which provided everyone supporting Russell an opportunity to see him perform.
As one of the top nine finalists, Russell will receive a $1,000 cash award, as well as $500 toward the purchase of poetry books for Thayer Central Community Schools in Hebron. Students from Mississippi, Vermont and Utah took top honors at the final competition.
NET Radio (Nebraska's NPR network) has posted a story about Russell, from an interview prior to the national competition, on its website at /netnebraska.org/radio .
Mark your calendars for POL 2012-13: All Nebraska high schools are eligible to participate free of charge, and schools may register between now and November.
Download the FY2012 POL Information and Registration Form
Teachers may run their in-school Poetry Out Loud programs anytime between August and February, and each participating school sends one student to a Nebraska Regional Semi-final competition during February of 2013. Top students from each of three semi-finals will advance to the Nebraska State Finals to be held at the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln on March 9, 2013. National finals in Washington, D.C. are set for April 29-30, 2013.
For more information on Nebraska's Poetry Out Loud program, contact Anne Alston, Education and Communities manager at the Nebraska Arts Council. Call 402/595-2122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.