Lawrence High School principal Jonathan Dauber and Poetry Out Loud Organizer Katy Henderson with winner Jean-Adelle Tagoe, first runner-up Natasha Vargas and second runner-up Mariefred Evans at the contest Jan. 10, 2013. Tagoe is set to advance to a regional competition Feb. 12.

A Lawrence High School student is set to compete in a regional Poetry Out Loud contest Feb. 12.

Sophomore Jean-Adelle Tagoe won her school’s competition Jan. 10 securing her spot in the New Jersey Region 2 competition set for Two River Theater in Red Bank.

LHS said Tagoe memorized and performed John Murray’s Her Head and Charles Lamb’s Thoughtless Cruelty at their fourth annual contest.

LHS said Tagoe competed against 13 other students who won Poetry Out Loud contests in their individual classes. First runner-up was junior Natasha Vargas and second runner-up was Mariefred Evans.

Poetry Out Loud is a program by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The groups partnered with U.S. state art agencies to bring the program to schools.

Poetry Out Loud’s mission is to improve public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about poetry through “memorization and recitation.”

Winners from regional and state competitions will compete in at national finals set for April.

Poetry Out Loud said state level winners are awarded $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to national finals in Washington. Their school receives a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books.

More information is online at poetryoutloud.org.