Reza Aziz, a junior at Calhoun High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, participated in the regional competition of Poetry Out Loud at Nassau Community College on Feb. 7, earning first place in the entire competition.
The winning poem he recited was “Prayer Rug” by Agha Shahid Ali.
Calhoun student Sara Antin also competed at the regional competition. English teachers Irene Ritaccio and Catherine Arresto helped both students prepare for this highly competitive event.
It was Ritaccio who encouraged Reza to start participating in the competition three years ago.
“She was always very supportive, as well as my English teacher, Sal Salerno,” Reza added.
Reza won an award and gift card and will be competing in the state finals at FIT University in Manhattan on March 7 for a potential $1,000 grant and $500 for the school.