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Jessica D’Agostino Poetry New Jersey
Feb 27, 2018

HHS Junior Wins ‘Poetry Out Loud’ competition

Jessica D’Agostino Poetry New Jersey

Holmdel High School junior Jessica D’Agostino was named one of two “champions” in Region 3 of the 13th annual New Jersey “Poetry Out Loud” competition, held February 7 at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.

In place since 2006, “Poetry Out Loud” is a national poetry recitation contest that has its roots in English classrooms (Grades 9 through 12) throughout the country. In New Jersey alone, more than 25,000 students from more than 150 schools participated in this year’s contest. Ms. D’Agostino bested 24 “classroom winners” at the school level in January to advance to the Region 3 competition, where she competed against the school winners from three counties (Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean) to advance to next month’s state final.

When asked how it felt to emerge as a state finalist (the 4th from Holmdel in the last 10 years), Ms. D’Agostino said, “I have always had a deep appreciation for poetry and feel so lucky to be able to represent Holmdel High School in this prestigious competition. I’d like to thank my mom and dad and family for tolerating my incessant practice recitations. Of course, I would also like to thank my English teachers, Mr. Dante and Ms. McDonald, for preparing me so well. I cannot wait to continue in the competition and I’m so very grateful for the support of family, friends and the entire Holmdel community!”

Ms. D’Agostino will compete on March 12th in the state final, to be held on the campus of Ocean County College, along with 11 other regional champions for the right to advance to the national finals – to be held in Washington, D.C. in May. The National Finalist will be awarded a first prize of $20,000 as well as $5,000 for his or her school to buy poetry books.

For more information about the “Poetry Out Loud” competition, visit: