Students use the power of poetry to win grand slam scholarships


The inaugural Dallas ISD poetry slam was nothing short of a memorable night at the Edison Learning Center, as infectious energy filled the auditorium with excited students, proud parents, and supportive peers.

Participating students competed for $10,000 in scholarship awards through a generous donation from business entrepreneur Roland Parrish. His charitable contribution provides a stepping stone for kids to achieve opportunities in higher education.

More than 100 fifth-graders from 60 schools exhibited impeccable talent and literary creativity under the theme “Me, My Community, My Future,” which challenged students to write and perform poetry related to their communities, using the power of voice and dramatic gestures to bring their words to life. Ultimately, three winners used this platform to showcase their communal visions and empowering messages with outstanding slam performances.

This competition was a collaborative effort of the Dallas ISD Reading Language Arts Department and the Racial Equity Office, which partnered with Flocabulary to give students an opportunity to express themselves through the power of poetry.

Flocabulary artist Ike Ramos discussed the power behind poetry.

“Poetry is a great way to have a voice,” said Ramos. “You’re cultivating a skill that’s relatable to so many areas and opportunities in life.”

All three winners will receive their scholarship money upon high school graduation and will also have the opportunity to perform at the annual “Read for Me” event on Saturday, March 23, at W.H. Adamson High School, which will include a giveaway of more than 10,000 books.

First-place ($5,000): Otto Darnell, Eduardo Mata Elementary School

Second-place ($3,000): Heidi Trinidad, School for the Talented and Gifted in Pleasant Grove

Third-place ($2,000): Evan Smith, Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School

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