Get Involved in the 10th Anniversary of Poetry Out Loud!

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All Montana high schools are invited to participate in the 10th anniversary of Poetry Out Loud.  Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and sponsored by the Montana Arts Council.  Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to memorize and perform great poems.

Poetry Out Loud builds on the recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, seen in the popular forms of slam poetry and rap music, and invites them into the high school classroom.  The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.  Teachers participating in Poetry Out Loud receive classroom materials both through the mail and online.  Participation in Poetry Out Loud comes with strong connections to the Montana Common Core Standards in English Language Arts.

The program features a pyramid structure that includes classroom, school, regional and then the state competition, held in Helena in March.  The winner of the State Finals goes on to compete at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington DC April 27-29, 2015.  In addition to the travel costs for the winner and one adult chaperone, the State Champion also receives $200 cash plus $500 for their school for the purchase of poetry books from the Poetry Foundation.  The State Champion’s English teacher will also receive $1000 towards their travel cost to attend the national competition.  The National Champion receives a $20,000 college scholarship as well as $500 for their school to purchase poetry books.

Last year’s champion was Sowmya Sudhaker from Butte High.  79 schools across Montana participated in Poetry Out Loud.  Could the next State Champion be sitting in your English class?

To get your students enrolled in Poetry Out Loud, contact our State Coordinator, Margaret Belisle, marbelisle@aol.com or (406) 439-6443.  She will also be leading a session on Poetry Out Loud at the upcoming MEA-MFT Educator’s Conference in Missoula October 16-17.  Stop by and ask her questions!

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