Call for teachers and schools: Poetry Out Loud competition

Teachers, we know you’re busy, so we’ve made it as easy as possible for you and your students to participate in the 2012-2013 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest.

The program takes place during the fall or early winter over two to three weeks, according to each teacher’s interest and agenda, and the program does NOT require full class periods during that time. Teachers can work Poetry Out Loud into existing poetry units as the program satisfies most of the NCTE English/Language Arts Standards, as well as many of the state standards. The free teacher toolkit is filled with curriculum materials to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions.

Classroom winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to regional and state competitions and ultimately to the national finals. South Carolina regional competitions will be held in Spartanburg and Sumter on January 12, 2013 and in Charleston on January 13, 2013. Nine regional finalists will compete in the state finals in Columbia on March 16. The national finals will be held April 29-30 in Washington, DC. The state winner receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to compete for the national championship and $500 for his or her school library. The state first runner-up receives $100, plus $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the national finals.

Who knows? The next state (or national!) Poetry Out Loud champ may be one of your students!

Poetry Out Loud is open to students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 in public, private and parochial schools and builds on the recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form. The program encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and internalize our rich literary heritage.

The South Carolina Arts Commission is pleased to partner with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring Poetry Out Loud to high schools across South Carolina for an eighth year.

To register for the official South Carolina competition, teachers can visit the Poetry Out Loud web page and download the registration form or contact the South Carolina Arts Commission at 803-734-8696. The deadline to register for the 2012-2013 school year is November 2.

For additional information, poems, and resources, visit the national Poetry Out Loud website or email Frances Kablick Keel, South Carolina program director.

Sam Gutshall

Sam Gutshall of Charleston was the 2012 Poetry Out Loud champion for South Carolina.