The Daily Press

Poetry Out Loud Regional Competitio­n to take place at Pitt Bradford

- (The Center Square) – Pennsylvan­ia’s hyperlocal emergency medical services system teeters on the brink of collapse and, officials say, it’s up to legislator­s to intervene before it’s too late. “If they do nothing, this will collapse — there’s no ifs, ands

The Elk County Council on the Arts would like to cordially invite the public to this year’s regional Poetry Out Loud competitio­n taking place February 23, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the Harriett B. Wick Chapel on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

A partnershi­p of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, the Pennsylvan­ia legally

Council on the Arts, and the Elk County Council on the Arts, Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educationa­l required to handle calls, even when the health concerns are not life threatenin­g. Giving more flexibilit­y to ambulance services to deny some transport demands could make EMS more financiall­y stable, Henry said.

“As an example, if someone calls us for toe pain or finger pain, if they are persistent about wanting transport by ambulance, we have to take them, and we’re not going to get paid for that trip most likely,” he said. “Frankly, you’re taking an ambulance available out of service for something that doesn’t need an ambulance.”

Changes that make day-to-day operations easier could matter, and so could restructur­ing EMS operations. Rather than a local approach, Henry argued for a regional one.

He said creating multimunic­ipal authoritie­s to run EMS would be the “most important” reform legislator­s could adopt. When townships, boroughs, and small towns combine EMS services, it can spread out the cost borne by taxpayers and materials and a dynamic recitation competitio­n for high school students across the country.

Students from Saint Marys Area High School, Elk County Catholic High School, and Oswayo Valley High School will gather to compete and recite the poems they have selected for a panel of esteemed judges. Since the program began in 2005, improve coordinati­on.

Nearby states, such as Maryland, take a countyleve­l approach rather than the hyper-local approach that dominates Pennsylvan­ia. Changing that status quo, however, will take a lot of work, Henry said.

“Legislator­s have put this on the back burner and, frankly, I’m pretty disappoint­ed in them,” he said.

The House Republican Policy Committee has scheduled a hearing Wednesday in Harrisburg to discuss policy regarding first responders and public safety ahead of the chamber’s Feb. 21 return to session.

The Senate will likewise reconvene on Feb. 27, after an unexpected one-month hiatus. more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizati­ons across the nation have participat­ed in the program.

Poetry Out Loud begins at the local level with a school or organizati­on. Winners advance to a regional-wide competitio­n, then to the state competitio­ns in February and March, and then to the national finals in the spring. Arts education programs like Poetry Out Loud matter. National Endowment for the Arts research tells us that children who have arts opportunit­ies in and out of school are much more likely to become adults who participat­e in the arts.

Students who participat­e in Poetry Out Loud also showed an increase in self-confidence and found that reading and listening to poetry helped them think about situations from multiple perspectiv­es. Supporting these endeavors is important for our community.

If anyone has any further questions or if you’re a teacher hoping to get involved next year, please contact the Elk County Council on the Arts at (814) 772-7051.

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