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Indiana County Student David "DJ" Gress Is 'Poetry Out Loud' State Champion

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  David "DJ" Gress, a senior at The Kiski School, Indiana County, today won the state finals of the 2013 "Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest."

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts hosted the competition at the Governor's Residence in Harrisburg. Governor Tom Corbett, along with First Lady Susan Corbett, chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, welcomed the competitors to the Residence.

"Governor Corbett and I are pleased to host the finals for Pennsylvania's Poetry Out Loud competition. During the past eight years, 55,000 high school students have participated in the competition," said Susan Corbett. "We congratulate this year's 14 finalists and the parents, teachers and principals who supported them in this endeavor."

Gress will represent Pennsylvania at the national championship to be held in Washington, D.C. April 28-30. The state champion will receive $200 from The Poetry Foundation and an expense-paid trip to compete in the national championship, which will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with at least one $20,000 college scholarship.

Second place went to Alex Jackson, a sophomore at Mercersburg Academy in Franklin County.

Gress and Jackson were among 14 regional finalists chosen from 10,000 Pennsylvania high school students who participated in this year's competition. It is facilitated through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Each student memorized and performed three poems selected from print and online poetry anthologies. Students were judged on voice and articulation, physical presence, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, overall performance and accuracy.

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