Freshman Amanda Jimenez nervously walked up to the front of the class, preparing to present her poem “Perfection Wasted” by John Updike for the Get Lit team tryouts.
Get Lit is a nationally recognized organization that encourages teen literacy, curbs drop out rates and fuses classical poetry with words for youths
to express themselves.
“I got to know my poem. I read it over and I analyzed it. I interpreted it to what it meant to me,” Jimenez said.
The Get Lit team, hosted in Ron Baer’s Room 14, aspired to gather nine to 10 committed members to make a team in order to compete in The Classic Slam.
The Classic Slam, on Aug. 28, 29 and 30 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center and The Orpheum Theatre, is the largest teen poetry competition in Southern California.
While a team can only have four to six members Baer, English and Language Arts teacher and sponsor for the club, accepted extra members as insurance in case some decide to drop out of the program.
“When they understand the requirements and the work, we may have some that drop out like a couple did last year,” Baer said.
However, if all members continue with the program then there will be a second round of cuts in order to narrow down the poets that will make the team.
Poetry has gotten a bad reputation for being boring and useless to some teens. But to veteran poets, like sophomores Kamryne Blake and Paola Rivas, has made a huge impact on their literacy and performing skills.
“It’s a great experience and you usually wouldn’t think of poetry being so exciting but it gets you pumped,” Rivas said.
Nationally, Get Lit has changed many teenagers opinion on poetry and still continues to do so with the students on this team.
“You wouldn’t think it would be such an amazing experience but it is,” Rivas said.