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Citizen Staff Writer



Inspiring children to develop a passion for poetry, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Stanza Bonanza Read-a-Thon had kids competing to read the most verses.

The competition, which ran from Oct. 15 to Dec. 15, made 700 books of poetry available to teachers and students in 28 schools, fostering a love of language, reading, learning and creative thinking, according to the Poetry Center.

Winners of the competition will receive a party and a visit from a local poet in February or March.

The winners are:

• Rio Vista Elementary students, who read 200,957 minutes of poetry.

• Townsend Middle students, who read 3,876 books of poetry.

• Southern Arizona Community Academy high school students, who read 636 books of poetry.

• Students in Michelle Meyer’s second-grade class at Castlehill Country Day School won first place for the most creative bonus minute activities, winning a visit from a local poet. Castlehill won second place for the most minutes of reading, logging in 67,833.

The contest reached about 5,000 students, teachers and parents.

Rio Vista Elementary library assistant Stephanie Quimby Green said in a press release, “The contest is over and the students are still checking out books from the poetry section of the library. Reading poetry, discussing authors, memorizing poems has helped our students discover a genre often overlooked in our library.”

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