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Don’t miss two upcoming youth poetry virtual events hosted by Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) for students grades 7-12 across the county.

The first event is an “Open Mic” for 7th-12th grade students on Monday, March 28 from 4:00-5:30 PM and the second is a “Poetry Slam” competition for 9th-12th grade students on Thursday, March 31 from 5:00-6:30 PM. 

Both events bring students together to experience spoken word and classic poetry in a safe, supportive environment. The events will be held via Zoom, and the community is invited to attend as spectators. To participate or attend, you must register HERE to receive Zoom links.

The Open Mic event will be a relaxed space where students can practice performing their poems in front of an audience with support from published poets and receive constructive feedback on their work and performance. The Poetry Slam competition, which combines performance, writing, competition, and audience participation, will be judged on content, but also on enthusiasm, style, and flair. 

In this second annual event, SBCEO has tapped the team at the Get Lit – Words Ignite organization, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit founded in 2006 to increase literacy, empower youth, and energize and heal communities through poetry and visual media.

SBCEO is thrilled to be partnering with this organization to bring a top-notch Poetry Slam experience to our youth countywide, said Ellen Barger, Assistant Superintendent of SBCEO Curriculum & Instruction. “Spoken word poetry provides students a stage to be unapologetic truth-tellers and to use the power of language and authentic performance to transcend human struggle and create beauty. It is art for collective healing.”

The winner of the Poetry Slam event will be performing their winning poem at the Juvenile Youth Empowerment Summit, hosted by SBCEO in October. 


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