Lavender Martin Big Winner of Poetry Out Loud

Martin Moves on to Regional Competition in February

Lauren Rauch, Staff Writer

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what Poetry Out Loud is, Poetry Out Loud, or POL, is a nationwide competition that asks students to memorize and recite poetry.

Since 2012, Burlington City has hosted this competition here at the high school and this year was no different.

So how does this all work? There are three levels to POL. First, there are the classroom level competitions where each student in grades 9-12 compete against one another within their own English class.

After that, if you are lucky enough to be chosen, the next round is the Grade Level Competition, which was held just before Winter Break in December.

From there, the top 8 students (2 from each grade) were then asked to compete in the final round of the competition, which was held this past Wednesday in the high school media center.

“I think this is a good way to get kids out of their comfort zones and do something different.” Tasnum “Elma” Raja, a sophomore at Burlington City High School and Poetry Out Loud finalist said. “Also a lot of kids may not know that they are good at these types of things. It gave me confidence knowing that I’m good at something.”

While students such as Ella Anzuini, Elma Raja, Erin Kiple, and Alecia McNeil all performed magnificently, the big winner of the night was Lavender Martin, who performed the poem “I’m Trying to Break Your Heart” by Kevin Young.

Lavender, who not only will now represent Burlington City High School at the Regional Competition at the Rutgers-Camden Campus in February, was also the recipient of a $100 Visa Gift Card.

“That was cool,” Lavender Said.

Lavender will now compete in February with the hopes of moving on to the State Finals. From there, if she is chosen, she will compete in the Nation Wide Competition this April in Washington, D.C.