Poland Participation at YSU English Festival


The YSU English Festival is held annually at Youngstown State University. Approximately, 3,000 middle school and high school students who are interested in reading and writing are invited to the festival each year. To attend the festival, students must read the seven books assigned to their age group, and teachers monitor their reading progress throughout the year.

To prepare for the festival, hundreds of students will write essays for the Candace Gay Memorial Essay Contest, others will prepare artwork for the Festival Art Contest, and teachers will prepare for their roles as writing judges or session leaders. The festival takes three days to complete as it is so large. Students will do a variety of activities at the festival. The activities include listening to some authors of the books they’ve read, writing impromptu essays, participating in book discussions and more.

The English Committee Festival has multiple purposes, some of which include supporting teachers who emphasize reading and writing in the classroom, recognizing and rewarding distinctive writing, introducing students to a wide variety of books, and helping students become lifelong readers.

This year, Poland sent 15 juniors and seniors to the festival that was held from the 18th-20th of April.

Erin Kilgore, junior, said she really enjoyed it. Her favorite part of the festival was listening to author Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.

Kilgore said, “Of the seven books I read, The Impossible Knife of Memory was my favorite, so being able to see her and listen to her speak was great.”

Mr. Suchora, who accompanies the students to the festival every year, said, “I think it’s a great festival. Students can have fun and pick up the habit of reading which is very valuable.”