NFA Freshman Advances to State Finals for Poetry Out Loud

Leslie Hungria, a freshman in the AARTS Academy at Newburgh Free Academy, is advancing to the State Finals for Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide poetry recitation competition run by the National Endowment for the Arts.

On Thursday, February 3, 2011, she joined fellow classmates Farah Aziz and Ethan Freedman at the regional competition in Albany, where she earned a place in the State Finals for her recitation of Sonnets from the Portuguese 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas.

According to Hungria, the NFA portion of the competition began in the Black Box Theater where she was one of only two ninth grade students competing along with a handful of Newburgh Free Academy juniors and seniors. Poetry Out Loud encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps the over 325,000 participating students nationwide master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literacy heritage.

Hungria’s teacher, English Language Arts Teacher Christine McCartney, explains the significance of this prestigious honor, “The faculty at Newburgh Free Academy could not be more excited for Leslie. For a freshman to advance in this competition  against students who are juniors and seniors is a noteworthy accomplishment. She practiced tirelessly before the competition with her mother, which proves how advantageous positive parental involvement can be to a student’s success.”

Hungria will compete in Albany on Sat., March 5 in the State Finals.