students running

Oral Interpretation Brings the Written Word to Life

13:05 PM - March 28, 2023

Fourth-grade student Razi Lockhart.

On Wednesday, March 22, more than 200 students represented almost 20 schools at the 43rd annual Festival of Oral Interpretation, hosted by Pioneer Union School District (PUSD). Small groups of children hurried to classrooms across campus to deliver interpretive performances of poetry and prose. “It’s incredible to have this festival in person again,” stated Patrick Paturel, PUSD superintendent, “Today, we are celebrating students from across the county as they perform in front of dozens of individuals. A special thank you to the PUSD team, our judges, and volunteers for making this possible.”

Students chose from famous works of literature, and some composed original pieces. After every performance, a volunteer evaluator, members of the audience, and student peers gave the orators complimentary and suggestive advice. Beau Gallant, a 4th-grade student who attends Pinewood Elementary School in Pollock Pines, commented after performing, “Before performing, I was excited and nervous. I practiced a lot, and that gave me confidence. I learned much about poetry, and I will do this again next year.”

Razi Lockhart is a 4th-grade student from Gold Oak Elementary School and noted, “I chose to participate because I actually really enjoy public speaking. I learned a lot about poetry and how it can be about something real or make-believe.” 

Amy Sellers, El Dorado County Board of Education Trustee, volunteered as a judge and, after the event, stated, “Today was a great experience for the students to stretch themselves. Two students even performed original pieces. It was a privilege to be part of it.”

Several El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) team members also volunteered, and Deputy Superintendent of Administrative Services Wendy Frederickson was among them and noted, “I have participated in this event for years, and it is always a nice connection to our purpose as educators: our students. EDCOE is proud to support this showcase of individual expression.”  

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