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Budding poet, actor to represent Riverside County at state Poetry Out Loud competition

By in Press Enterprise on February 1, 2018

By Patrick Brien Jackson Dean, a junior at Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, won the Riverside County Poetry Out Loud competition, held at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts in downtown Riverside on Jan. 20, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Curry Mendes)

When Jackson Dean began attending Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, he started participating in the school’s Poetry Out Loud competition.

Last year as a sophomore, he watched classmate Adam McDonald win at the regional level for the right to represent Riverside County at the state competition.

This year as a 16-year-old junior, Jackson continued his school’s success by winning the Riverside County competition, held Jan. 20 at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts in downtown Riverside.

“I was surprised and elated at the same time,” said Jackson, who will travel to Sacramento for the state competition March 18-19.

Developed by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud was launched nationwide in 2006 after successful pilot programs in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Since its establishment, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.5 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools across the country. The winner from each state’s competition moves on to vie for the National Championship in Washington, D.C.

Jackson said he’s excited to travel to the state capitol.

“I’m looking forward to representing my school at the state level and I’m really looking forward to competing,” he said.

Jackson said he enjoys the fact that he is able to tell the stories that are unique to each poem.

“I think students should decide to participate in this competition because it allows them to find and express their voice through poetry,” he said.


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