My experience judging the NJPOL Finals was a very rewarding. Hearing wonderful poems read aloud is always a pleasure, but witnessing such a remarkable group of high school students bringing their own lively interpretations to the stage was quite a treat.
The participants poured every gram of their brains and hearts into reciting the poems they were dealt, and their commitment translated into a valuable interaction with language for the listeners in attendance.
Even more pleasing was the tangible connection each reader seemed to have with each poem. It was obvious that the works they were delivering had gotten inside of them and had sung notes the students could not have otherwise encountered.