Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maine’s 5th Annual Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest

The Maine Arts Commission is encouraging high school students around the state to take part in the fifth year of Poetry Out Loud. Teachers who would like to introduce this successful competition to their schools will join the thousands of teachers who have become inspired, had fun and surprising success “making poetry matter” for students!

Maine students have twice progressed to the final 12 at the national finals in Washington, D.C. With 250,000 students competing nationally each year, this is quite an accomplishment.

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is a great way to teach poetry and help students with written and oral communication skills. It is designed so that teachers may easily implement this “poetry bee” contest in the classroom. It awards more than $100,000 in prizes to students and schools at the state and national levels and satisfies most of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) English Language Arts Standards.

Starting at the classroom level, teachers are provided with free multimedia curriculum materials—a poetry anthology, audio guide, Best Performances DVD; teachers’ guide, posters and a comprehensive website, http://www.poetryoutloud.org, all aligned to national standards—to augment their regular poetry curriculum with poetry recitation and a classroom-level competition. School-level recitation champions advance to the regional, state and then national levels. Each winner at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The state runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Additionally, a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends will be awarded to the winners at the National Finals.

If you would like your high school students to participate in Maine’s competition and to receive the new 2009-2010 Poetry Out Loud Classroom Kit and Teacher’s Guide, please contact Paul Faria at the Maine Arts Commission, 207/287-2790, or paul.faria@maine.gov.

*We must have the registration form filled in and returned no later than December 18, 2009 in order to have your students participate in the state competitions!

Key dates in the timeline you will want to know (specific dates TBA very shortly):
Ideally, you should schedule your school competition to take place before MLK Day in January.

September - December Maine Arts Commission mails program materials to schools
December 18, 2009 Poetry Out Loud school registration deadline
October – January Poetry Out Loud in the schools
February 1, 2010 Last date to announce school winner!
Early February 2010 Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals
March 5, 2010 State of Maine finals, Waterville Opera House
April 25 – 27, 2010 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C.

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