The Central Region committee of the Lithuanian American Community reinstated a wonderful tradition: they organized a contest of formal oral readings of literature for students in Lithuanian Heritage schools. The goal of this contest is to encourage student interest in Lithuanian literature, foster a deeper understanding of literary works, and be able to share the readings with correct diction, and engaging, expressive interpretation.

On April 20th, after Lithuanian school, the Art museum at the Lithuanian World Center hosted 16 contestants of various ages from three different Lithuanian Heritage schools. Their readings constisted of various poetry and prose works of Lithuanian authors.

The jury committee consisted of: Giedrė Gillespie (president), Juozas Kapačinskas, and Svajonė Kerelytė. It was quite challenging for the commitee to select the best from these very gifted and motivated students. Judges based their points on pronunciation, and ability to interpret the reading, enlightening the listeners. The contestants were placed in two groups, based on grade level: grades 1 – 6, and grades 7 – 10.

The final results were as follows:

In the grade 1 – 6 group:

1st prize    Patrick Mantasky, Gediminas school

2nd prize  Ugnė Dainytė, Maironis school

3rd prize   Monika and Matas Mikuckis, Maironis school

In the grade 7 – 10 group:

1st prize    Austėja Stanevičiūtė, 10th grade, Chicago Lithuanian school

2nd prize  Indrė Dukauskaitė, 8th grade, Chicago Lithuanian school

3rd prize   Ugnė Jurgaitytė, 10th grade, Chicago Lithuanian school


All winners received prizes and certificates, and all participants received chocolates. Hopefully, this tradition, now that it has been renewed, will continue to flourish and attract more contestants each year.