"The great thing about is that we follow the rules of it," she said. "To get all the kids at the classroom level memorizing one poem is great."
Three students out of 10 finalists have made it past the high school level and will now go on to compete in the regional level in Troy.
The students are Adah Hetko, Genevieve Mailloux and Arielle Ray. Each reader read two poems: Hetko read "Poem with One Fact," by Donald Hall, and "Barter," by Sarah Teasdale. Mailloux read "Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100," by Martin Espada, and "Immigrant Picnic," by Gregory Djanikian; and Ray read "Jabberwocky," by Lewis Carroll, and "Safe in the Alabaster Chambers," by Emily Dickinson.
If they make it past the regional level, the students could go on to the state level, after which point one student from each state is chosen to compete in the national competition in Washington, D.C., later this year. On the state level, more than 40 schools will be represented.
According to Murphy, this is not the first year Mailloux has made it to the regional level, as she competed against other students in the area in the regional level last year.