Teachers, are you looking for new ways to introduce your students to poetry?

Then consider joining Poetry Out Loud this fall. Poetry Out Loud is a national program that uses the thrill of competition to engage high school students with classic and contemporary poetry.

Poetry Out Loud offers teachers an easy-to-use, standards-based program to help students discover a range of poets from William Shakespeare to Rita Dove. Participating teachers receive free materials including a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, and video and audio on the art of recitation. Students get to choose from among 900+ poems in the official Poetry Out Loud anthology, then memorize them, and bring them to life through recitation. Students advance from classroom contests, to school-wide contests, onto regional and state finals. By being part of the official program, your student has the chance to win an all-expense-paid trip to the National Finals in Washington, DC in May 2016. In total, Poetry Out Loud will award more than $100,000 to state-and national-level winners and their schools.

What do teachers have to say about teaching Poetry Out Loud in the classroom? Here are some numbers from our 2015 teacher survey:

  • 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that students’ confidence increased after program participation.
  • 82% of teachers surveyed agreed that Poetry Out Loud is easy to incorporate in the classroom.
  • 82% of teachers surveyed agreed that students’ analytical skills improved after program participation.

Your students can join the 2.7 million high school students who have learned about their literary heritage and honed their public speaking skills through Poetry Out Loud over the past ten years. As national partners, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, we are privileged to collaborate with state arts agencies to bring this high-quality arts education program to students across the country.

*The Eastern Washington region is organized by GetLit!

GetLit! hosts the regional competition every year; this year’s competition will be held on February 3rd at The Bartlett in downtown Spokane.

Take up the poetry challenge! Contact Kate Peterson, your state Poetry Out Loud coordinator at poetryoutloud509@gmail.com to take part in Poetry Out Loud or learn more at poetryoutloud.org.

Jane Chu
National Endowment for the Arts