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Archive for February 12th, 2010

Local high school students recited poetry to win a spot in the Missouri championships forĀ  the Poetry Out Loud competition today. The competition was held at the Columbia Public Library and ten students from Boonville, Camdenton, Cole Camp, Centralia, Columbia, Jefferson City and Osage Beach participated.

The students were judged on physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, level of difficulty (poems), evidence of understanding and overall performance.

Rosa Hoyle, a 9th grader with the Jefferson City Home Educators won first prize and received a $25 gift card to Barnes and Nobles. She will be advancing to the Missouri championships. She recited the poems Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, The Powwow at the End of the World by Sherman Alexie, and Shakespeare’s Sonnet CXVI.

Amanda Bunner from Cole Camp High school is the runner-up and received a $15 gift card to Barnes and Nobles. The rest of the participants received a $10 gift card.

Here’s a link to a CBS video about the competition.

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Recent state funding cuts to Parents As Teachers, an early childhood education program started in Missouri in 1981, was the subject of a Missourian guest commentary by Dan Peek several days ago.

Gov. Jay Nixon’s recommended $4.1 million cut to the program in late January came a year after the state legislature cut the program by $3.4 million. On Feb. 3, an additional $2 million cut was introduced.

Peek said that experts have described the newborn to preschool age period as the most critical part of childhood development, and that the legislature shouldn’t cut funding that affects children of that age group.

He saw the program’s potential firsthand when his own grandchild participated, he said.

In the course of assessing a child’s development, PAT teachers touch on other issues such as nutrition, hygiene and neglect or abuse.

Although the program was not intended as a route for direct intervention on behalf of children at risk of neglect or abuse, Peek said that PAT teachers could also help in that role due to their in-home visits with client families.

The program has received state funding since 1985 and has spread to every state and other countries including Mexico and China. It now serves more than 156,000 Missouri children.

If all the proposed cuts to PAT are passed in the legislature this spring, the nonprofit will lose 28 percent of its funding in an 18-month period.

Any thoughts to share?

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