Ruiz Represents Deer Park at Poetry Out Loud Competition

For the first time, Deer Park joined 15 other Long Island schools in participating in the Poetry Out Loud contest, held on Feb. 24 at Stony Brook University. Representing Deer Park, Kayla Ruiz was one of 31 local high schoolers reciting poems at the event, a national program run by the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The Poetry Out Loud contest is a great way to preserve the art of spoken literature, memorization, public speaking and performance, all while studying and researching the poems and their authors’ intentions,” explained Deer Park language arts and drama teacher Kristen Wallace. “The students clearly respect and appreciate the literature as they find personal ways to showcase their performances.”

The Stony Brook event was preceded by an in-school Poetry Out Loud competition, introduced to Deer Park by Dr. Jeff Dailey, the district’s director of fine and performing arts. A panel of four judges named Ruiz and fellow student Sabrina Rudden – who was unable to attend the regional event – as the winners.

Ruiz memorized and recited “Carnival” by Rebecca Lindenberg for the Deer Park school contest, wowing those in attendance. During the Stony Brook competition, she recited Edgar Allen Poe’s “Alone” and William Blake’s “A Poison Tree.”

“For a ninth-grade student, Kayla did amazingly well, both with her memorization and her performance,” said Wallace. “She was poised and her voice was clear and confident as she went up against students from all over Long Island. She used many techniques she has learned from me in her drama class at Deer Park High School, and her recitations were flawless. I was proud to have her not only representing Deer Park, but also our drama and theater arts programs.”