[image-1]Two Charleston County students will compete against four regional winners in the Poetry Out Loud state finals in Columbia on March 10. Janae Claxton, from First Baptist Church High School, and Keegan Dustin, from Charleston County School of the Arts, will recite poems of their choosing in hopes of representing South Carolina in the national competition this April in Washington, D.C.

State winners will receive $200 and an all expenses paid trip to compete nationally. The winner’s school will also receive $500 to go towards the purchase of poetry materials in the classroom. The competition focuses on building public speaking skills and confidence in students through recitation and performance, two current trends in poetry.

Poetry Out Loud, started in 2005, provides students and teachers, locally and nationally, with resources and funds to inspire the next generation of poets.