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Lillian Fawver of Argonaut High wins Amador Poetry Out Loud Championship

Amador County Arts Council congratulates the 2023 Poetry Out Loud (POL) participants! Argonaut High Student Lillian Fawver took first place with fabulous recitations of “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by D. Gilson and “Broken Promises” by David Kirby. Fawver will represent Amador County at the state finals in March with hopes to go to the national championship in Washington D.C. and the chance to win over $20,000.

Morgan Alberti and Jinelle Fromme took second and third place, respectively, both from the Amador High Drama Department. Audience members voted on the logo competition and the winner is Macie Reynolds (Argonaut High). The winning logo will be printed on the 2023 POL sweatshirt which will be given to all participating students. Additionally, the newest Amador Poet Laureate, Margaret Lewis was introduced to the community and delivered an original poem written to inspire the teens to embrace arts and creativity as a resource for resilience.

Over 40 multi-generational community members gathered on January 22nd for a dynamic poetry competition on the beautiful stage of Baker Street West, a non-profit theatre company in historic Jackson. Six high school students from both Amador and Argonaut high schools presented two poems each in a series of two rounds. Local leaders from the Amador Arts Board and Advisory Committee judged the recitations by using the rubric provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

POL is a premier arts education curriculum that is fully funded and administrated in all U.S. states & provinces. This program is provided for free to schools and is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, the California Arts Council, and Amador Arts. Art Councils throughout California are required to provide this curriculum to their county’s high school students. In Amador County, Meghan Joy O’Keefe has been a POL Teaching Artist since 2017, working with students and teachers at Amador, Argonaut, and Independence high schools, along with homeschools.

Although POL is a high school curriculum, Amador Arts invites junior high students to participate by making non-competitive recitations of poetry while the judges tally up the high school scores. Students Zoey Laird, Walter Flint, and Logan Thornock of Jackson Junior High wowed the audience with exceptional poem recitations that rivaled their high school role models.

Students can begin preparing for POL 2024 today by going to Argonaut sophomore, Naomi Valesco, who competed this year said “I’m excited to compete again next year!” Teachers and students may schedule free POL workshops throughout the school year. The competition season begins each Fall and the county championship occurs in late January each year. For more information and to schedule a POL workshop in your classroom, contact Administrative Assistant Deja Douglas at or by calling 209-256-8166.

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