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Local students take first, second place in NYC poetry slam

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Competitors and coaches from Edward Little High School pose on stage after the competition.

Two Edward Little High School students took first and second place in the recent 2016 Global Writes poetry slam competition in the Bronx, New York.

“I heard the cheering. It felt euphoric. It was amazing!” recalled first-place winner Ahmed Mohamed of his final performance. “People like me get to tell the world our stories.”

“With poetry, you are able to put how you feel into words and share it with others,” added second-place winner Khadro Adow. “It gives you confidence in who you are and where you come from.”

The winners, along with three of their classmates, prepared for the event with classroom teacher Jill Hyland and a teaching artist from LA Arts during a class at ELHS. This is the second year that the two organizations have collaborated on this trip to New York, where the students competed against other high school students from schools in Brooklyn and the Bronx. A morning first-round competition took place, from which three finalists were chosen to perform in front of a packed audience of 500 people in the Lovinger Theater at Lehman College.

Hyland described the experience as “a once in a lifetime opportunity to share and change the lives of people prepared to listen!”

Along with Hyland and the rest of the teaching staff at Edward Little High School, LA Arts worked on the project with two partners from New York City, arts in education and technology organizations the Dreamyard Project (www.dreamyard.com) and Global Writes (globalwrites.org).

The Dreamyard Project is a nonprofit arts in education organization located in the Bronx, NYC, which since 1994 has served over 125,000 students in 100 public schools with the power of arts in education. The mission of Global Writes is to promote literacy, communication and collaboration among young people through the integration of performing arts and technology resources.

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