Dual-track Poetry Out Loud now accessible to more S.C. students

SCAC offers in-school, individual student participation

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, December 22, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET

a black microphone in the spotlight

South Carolina Arts Commission Arts Learning is prioritizing access in the 2023/2024 academic year by giving students the opportunity to compete in their schools or on their own.

Poetry Out Loud logoThe program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry—recitation and performance and helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence as they learn about literary history and contemporary life. They choose from an extensive library of poetry to memorize and recite in competition with other students, with the goal of advancing to state finals competitions. State winners advance to the national finals, held each spring in Washington!

The National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud with the help of statewide arts partners like the SCAC in all 50 states, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The SCAC is proud to join these national partners annually to bring Poetry Out Loud to South Carolina high school students.

Two tracks. One competition.

State arts agencies like the SCAC determine participation on a state-by-state basis.

In South Carolina, students in grades 9-12 have options. To best serve as many South Carolina students as possible, Poetry Out Loud offers school/organization registration (for schools or organizations and their students, in-person competitions) and individual student registration (a live virtual competition) for those whose school/organization is not participating or are homeschooled.

School or organization track

All types of high schools are welcome to participate, including public, private, parochial, independent, charter, etc. Exceptions may be made for 8th grade students who are in a participating 9th through 12th grade class.

Schools must register with the SCAC in order to participate in the official state competition.

What’s involved?

  • Participating schools/organizations are encouraged to identify 2-3 teachers/leaders with one POL program coordinator to manage school/organization finals, or act as the single point of contact for the school/organization’s POL leaders. Exceptions may be made—please contact the coordinator with questions (information below).
  • All students are eligible for participation and advancement in this program.
  • Each school or organization’s program must host a school/organization competition with one (1) winner to advance to the POL South Carolina State Final.

The NEA and the Poetry Foundation provide all program materials (teacher’s guide, poetry anthology, CDs, posters) for distribution to participating schools.

Individual student track

Registration is still required for this track.

  • Individual students may register for Poetry Out Loud S.C. Virtual if they meet one or more of the following criteria:
    • the school the student attends is not a participating/registered POL school
    • the student is not participating in POL through an organization
    • the student is homeschooled
  • Students participating in Poetry Out Loud S.C. Virtual will need access to a computer or device with video conferencing capabilities and reliable internet.
  • Poetry Out Loud S.C. Virtual will hold an online competition with regional winners advancing to the in-person POL South Carolina State Final.

Interested? Of course you are. The Poetry Out Loud page on the SCAC website has a host of helpful information: registration links, resources for teachers and tips for students, an FAQ section, and much more!

Christina Yasi is the state Poetry Out Loud recruiter and can assist you at cyasi@arts.sc.gov.