Edward Little student Barrak Abdraba puts emotion and motion into his reading of “A Message,” his poem read at Wednesday’s 4th Annual ELHS Slam Poetry Celebration in the library at the Auburn school. He and others read their works written in a program sponsored by L/A Arts and Global Writes.

AUBURN — Four Edward Little High School students will compete in a poetry slam contest in New York City next month.

They are students of English Language Learner teacher Jill Hyland and gave a preview of their performance Wednesday in the high school library.

“We’re leaving June 6, will perform June 7, and be home June 8,” Hyland said. “This is the third year we’re going to New York.”

Auburn students have done well in the competition, often taking home top awards.

The poetry slam contest helps them master the English language, Hyland said. “It gives students a voice. It gives them confidence. They say a person has truly conquered a language when they can speak it in poetry.”

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The Auburn students competing are:

• Barrak Abdraba reading “The Message.” Abdraba is a member of a family from Iraq. As they were leaving the country, his sister was unable to join them in the United States. “His poem is a sad story about a family divided and broken. It’s an incredibly powerful poem,” Hyland said.

• Khadro Adow will read “History is Repeating Itself” about the student’s perspective on race relations. The poem refers to ugly race injustices in history and today’s climate.

• Nasro Adow will read “Only Person,” a tribute to her grandmother who raised and taught her about manners, how to pray and life. The grandmother is in Somalia.

• Abeer Jashaami will read “Once Happiness,” about time she lived in Syria after leaving Iraq. When Jashaami went to school in Syria, she observed how many there “didn’t want to have anything to do with her,” Hyland said. “She was trying to be part of this school but having no peace.”

The competition will be held at Lehman College in the Bronx in front of an audience of about 400 people. Also competing will be high school students from several New York high schools.

Edward Little High School student Khadro Adow reads her poem “History is Repeating Itself” during Wednesday’s 4th Annual ELHS Slam Poetry Celebration in the library at the Auburn school. She and others read their pieces done in a program sponsored by L/A Arts and Global Writes.


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