Poetry Out Loud deadline extended to Nov. 20

Poetry Out Loud deadline extended to Nov. 20

Due to last month’s flooding and school closures, the Poetry Out Loud registration deadline has been extended to Nov. 20.

Teacher and students across the state are gearing up for another year of Poetry Out Loud, a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering  a dynamic recitation competition.  Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage while gaining an appreciation of poetry.

Poetry Out Loud is open to students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 in public, private and parochial schools. Homeschooled students may participate by competing in a contest at a local school (at the school’s discretion) or with other local homeschooled students.

The program is designed to fit into a teacher’s busy schedule and can take place over two to three weeks, and does not require full class periods. 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. Every teacher who participates in Poety Out Loud will receive a free toolkit for classroom use.

Classroom winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to regional and state competitions and ultimately to the national finals. The state winner receives $200, plus $500 for his or her school library, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to compete for the national championship and a $20,000 scholarship. The state first runner-up receives $100, plus $200 for his or her school library.

Last year more than 4,000 S.C. students participated, with Joshua Mugabe of York County (pictured above) winning the state championship and advancing to nationals. This year, more than 375,000 students are expected to take part nationwide.

Nov. 20 is the deadline to register for the 2015-2016 school year. For more information or to register, visit the Poetry Out Loud web page, email Frances Kablick Keel or call the South Carolina Arts Commission, (803) 734-8696.

The South Carolina Arts Commission partners with the National Endowment for the Artsand the Poetry Foundation to bring Poetry Out Loud to high schools across South Carolina.