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Sacramento County Crowns 2016 Poetry Out Loud Winner

Pleasant Grove High School Student Wins Competition

Hannah Oldfield and Chigozie Maduchukwu

Contest winner Chigozie Maduchukwu (right) with runner-up Hannah Oldfield.

Chigozie Maduchukwu from Pleasant Grove High School, in the Elk Grove Unified School District, is the winner of the Sacramento County Poetry Out Loud for 2016. He took first place from a field of 14 during the Sacramento County finals, held Thursday, February 4, at Rosemont High School in Sacramento. Hannah Oldfield from Rio Americano High School in the San Juan Unified School District, is the Sacramento County runner-up.

Chigozie earned the right to represent Sacramento County in the State Finals, February 28 and 29, 2016.

Sacramento Poet Laureate Jeff Knorr served as the master of ceremonies. Sacramento County Board of Education Trustee Greg Geeting and Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools​ David W. Gordon were on hand to help present awards to the top-performing students.

​The Sacramento County Poetry Out Loud competition encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. The program provides students with the opportunity to perform poetry in English classes. Modeled like the National Spelling Bee, the Poetry Out Loud program began in local high school classrooms, with winners advancing to school-wide, then regional competition. Schools countrywide are participating in regional competitions.

2016 Poetry Out Loud Participants​​

  • Janelle Reyes, Capital Christian High School 
  • Paul Yegorov, Center High School
  • Ealaisa Farschman, Cornerstone Christian School
  • Stephan Alfaro, Del Campo High School 
  • Jeffrey Revello, Elk Grove High School
  • Emily Rassikhin, Futures High School
  • Angel Ford, Heritage Peak Charter
  • DeAna Soto, Inderkum High School 
  • Kaitlyn Kui, John F. Kennedy High School 
  • Bruce Ruiz, Luther Burbank High School 
  • Sierra DeBlonk, Natomas Charter School
  • Chigozie Maduchukwu, Pleasant Grove High School 
  • Hannah Oldfield, Rio Americano High School 
  • Natalie Berry, Rio Linda High School

Sacramento County's Poetry Out Loud program is supported by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), California Poets in the Schools, and the Poetry Foundation. This activity is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Thanks to the 2016 Poetry Out Loud Judges: Rhony Bhopla​, Steve Caruso, Greg Geeting, Danyen Powell, and L. Steven Winlock, Ed.D.. For information about the Poetry Out Loud program, e-mail or phone Sherry Arnold: (916) 228-2479.

Update: Chigozie Maduchukwu also took first place in the state competition. He will now compete in the national finals in Washington D.C. this May.