Senior Caroline Delaney of Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton is this year’s finalist to represent Ohio at the National Poetry Out Loud Championship in D.C. this week.
She is the fourth student from CJ in the past 10 years to represent Ohio.
Delany has been a finalist in CJ’s school competition all four years of high school and this year she took the prize. She won the state championship on March 3.
“We had a class in grade school where we learned, read and wrote our own poems. In fifth grade we had a Poetry Jam in our Family Center of our school. My poem wasn’t great, but that was my first exposure in school,” Delaney said.
Each of the state winners receives $200 and an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., with an adult chaperone, for the national competition.
The school received $500 for her state win to purchase poetry books. Over $50,000 is awarded at the National Finals to individuals and schools that make the rank.
“I grew up with Shel Silverstein poems. My grandmother would read them to me all the time. I have three of his poems books, I know a lot of Shel Silverstein poems,” Delaney said.
Poetry Out Loud encourages students all across America to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about literary history and contemporary life, according to www.poetryoutloud.org.
Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, also said their website.
The partners for this competition are The National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation.
She received coaching from Herbert Woodward Martin, professor emeritus at the University of Dayton.
Delaney went to Ascension School and lives in Beavercreek with her parents and sister, Grace, who is a freshman at CJ. Caroline plans to attend Miami University in the fall and major in psychology and neuroscience on the pre-med track.
“My mom and I enjoy poetry - she had a big influence. My grandmother was a math and English teacher for the longest time,” Delaney said. “My mom is a lawyer and works with words. We are a literature oriented family.”
Delaney was to be recognized during the spring all-school assembly Friday, April 20. She was scheduled to leave for Washington. The competition runs from April 23 to April 25. Delaney takes the stage on the 24.
CJ hopes that Delaney will be the fourth student to win the National Championship from the school.
The National Poetry Out Loud Championships will be live streamed on their website. Visit Chaminade Julienne’s website for an update on Caroline Delaney’s success at Nationals.