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South Dakota student named 2021 Poetry Out Loud Champion

Credit: National Endowment for the Arts
Washington High School senior, Rahele Megosha, was...
Credit: National Endowment for the Arts Washington High School senior, Rahele Megosha, was named the 2021 Poetry Out Loud Champion Thursday night.(KSFY)
Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 9:38 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Rahele Megosha was named the champion of the Poetry Out Loud competition Thursday night. This year, the competition was held virtually because of the pandemic. She was one of nine finalists across the nation. The nine students were picked from a group of 55 student champions from each state and jurisdiction in the United States. Megosha won South Dakota’s state competition in March, which advanced her to the semifinals. From there, the judges picked her to be one of nine to compete in the finals.

For the finals, the students submitted pre-recorded videos of their poem recitations that were scored by judges based on various criteria. That includes physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, overall performance, accuracy, and evidence of understanding.

Megosha was named the champion and received $20,000. Washington High School will also receive $500 to purchase poetry materials. Megosha is a senior at Washington High School and will graduate Sunday in Sioux Falls.

Thursday morning, she told Dakota News Now the smart thing would be to spend the money on college, but she might not be able to stop herself from buying shoes with it. She will attend Columbia University in New York in the fall.

The video below shows the moment Megosha was announced as this year’s champion.

This is the 16th year the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation have partnered to support Poetry Out Loud. The goal is to encourage students to learn about classic and contemporary poetry through memorization and recitation.

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