Poetry Out Loud (POL) encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life while competing for valuable prizes for themselves and their schools.
Now in its fifteenth year nationwide, and its tenth in Inyo County, POL was created through the National Endowment of the Arts and The Poetry Foundation to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through exploration, memorization, and performance. The program begins in the classroom with NCTE and Common Core standards-based curriculum for teachers. Students select poems from the POL Anthology of more than 650 classic and contemporary poems to memorize and recite… First in a classroom competition, with the winners moving on to the Inyo County finals, held this year on February 5, 2020. Our county champion proceeds to the California State Finals, held March 15-16th in Sacramento, to compete for a chance to represent California at the National Finals in Washington, D.C. April 27-29th.
Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C. to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for their school. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.
Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
Learn more about this classroom-based, national competition at www.PoetryOutLoud.org
Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, the California Arts Council, and the Inyo County Office of Education for making this dynamic program possible!
For more information on Inyo County’s Poetry Out Loud program, please contact Erin Renee, School Arts Coordinator at Inyo Council for the Arts.