After registering for the program, participating teachers receive Poetry Out Loud curriculum materials, including the online poetry anthology, a comprehensive teacher’s guide, an audio CD featuring distinguished actors and writers, two posters, and promotional and media guides.
National Teacher Resources
NC Teacher Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get my class or school involved in Poetry Out Loud?
The program starts in the classroom with teachers registering their schools to participate.
If you’re a teacher interested in participating in the official N.C. Poetry Out Loud competition, register your school here. We will provide all the necessary materials. You can also use the online materials to facilitate your own, unofficial program.
Who may participate? Are there any participation restrictions?
Poetry Out Loud is designed for high school students (grades 9–12) in public, private and home schools. No student may be excluded from participation in this program on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability or national origin. Schools may determine eligibility for classroom- and school-level Poetry Out Loud programs pursuant to local and state law. Under federal law, participation in state competitions and the national finals is restricted to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
How does Poetry Out Loud work?
Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-level competition, then to a district and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. Teachers participating in the N.C. competition receive the Poetry Out Loud teacher’s guide which allows them to integrate poetry recitation into their classes and facilitate classroom competitions.
How much class time does Poetry Out Loud require?
The official Poetry Out Loud program is implemented in schools in fall and early winter. The program does not require full class periods and can be completed in two to three weeks. There are, however, many opportunities to make Poetry Out Loud part of a larger poetry curriculum.
As a teacher, how does Poetry Out Loud support my work with students?
“When I began using POL in my classroom, I had a group of 50 at-risk students in a program funded by the Governor's Crime Commission. All of them chose poems, researched the authors' lives, memorized their poems, and practiced them alone, with partners, and for the whole class. Every one of my students recited their poems for a panel of judges in the theater for the classroom judging, two of them won top prizes at the school and county competitions, and one went on to compete in the state semi-finals. That was six years ago. POL builds character, strengthens public speaking skills, and gives students academic confidence and insight into the unique beauty that is poetry. I continue to include POL in my yearly planning and coordinate it at the local and county levels because I believe it is a worthwhile, well organized event of which I am honored to be a part.” Amy Krum, South Caldwell High School, Caldwell County
Poetry Out Loud provides you with the opportunity to engage your students in the study of great poetry, as well as an innovative way to help them practice their public speaking and reading comprehension skills. After registering for the program, participating teachers receive Poetry Out Loud curriculum materials, including the online poetry anthology, a comprehensive teacher’s guide, an audio CD featuring distinguished actors and writers, two posters, and promotional and media guides.
As a student, how do I benefit from participating?
“POL taught me the power of a single voice with the right words. Before POL I never realized how I could be affected by and affect others through poetry recitation, and along the way I got to meet amazing people who really understand the power of words.” Jessica Kariisa, NC 2012 POL State Champion, Wake County
Through participation in Poetry Out Loud, students gain a deep understanding and appreciation of great poetry. In addition, each state winner receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national finals. The state winner’s school library receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books. The state runner-up receives $100 and the school receives $200 to buy poetry books. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the national finals.
How much does it cost?
Participation in Poetry Out Loud is free. Teacher materials are provided at no charge to all participating teachers. However, district winners and their chaperones are responsible for their own transportation, food and lodging costs to the N.C. Poetry Out Loud statewide finals in Greensboro.
When is it?
High school teachers interested in participating in the N.C. competition must register by Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. Materials will be sent to high schools beginning in mid-September. School-level activities (preparation, classroom-level and school-level competitions) run through early winter. District-level competitions occur in January 2012. The statewide finals will be held Saturday, March 16, 2013, in Greensboro. The national finals will be held in Washington, D.C., Monday, April 29, through Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
For a detailed program timeline, click here.
What do I have to do?
1. Register your school to participate by Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. Teacher materials will be mailed to all participating teachers at your school no later than Friday, November 1, 2012.
2. Prepare students and hold classroom competitions (check the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud website for details on how to hold competitions).
3. Determine a school coordinator if more than one teacher from your school wants to participate in the program and hold school competitions.
4. Register school winners for the district competition.
5. Register district winner for state finals.
6. Statewide finals will be held in Greensboro Saturday, March 16, 2013. Answers to additional questions may be found on the NEA’s website.
Answers to additional questions may be found on the NEA’s website.
Further information, including poems eligible for the competition, tips for teachers and students, press releases for coordinators, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.poetryoutloud.org.
Poetry Out Loud inquiries: Contact Banu Valladares, Arts in Education Director, at (919) 807-6502 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media inquiries: Contact Rebecca Moore, Senior Program Director for Marketing, at (919) 807-6530 or by email at email@example.com.