Wyoming Arts Council

Poetry Out Loud changes schedule for 2008

The teachers spoke and we listened.

The Poetry Out Loud recitation competition, previously conducted during the winter and spring, has a new schedule.

It will be held in Wyoming September through November during the 2008-2009 school year. The school competitions can be held any time after school starts (late August for most districts) up until the end of October. The finals in Cheyenne will be on Nov. 17-18.

During previous years, schools participating in POL conducted their competitions in January and February and traveled to Cheyenne in mid-March. But teachers and students alike complained that that part of the school year is crammed full of events, including the speech/debate season, standardized tests, sports events, and spring break. So the Wyoming Arts Council has moved the schedule to the fall.

The competition is open to high school students, grades 9-12, in language arts, speech/debate and drama classes. Teachers can sign up their classes by calling Mike Shay at the Wyoming Arts Council, 307-777-5234. Poetry Out Loud is open to public and private school students, as well as home school associations.

Students participating in the program memorize and perform three poems included in material provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Each school sends its winner to the state finals, with that winner going to the national competition in Washington, D.C., in April. Students can win cash prizes and scholarships. Their school libraries can also win collections of poetry books.

As school begins across the state during the next two weeks, keep in mind Poetry Out Loud. Call the Arts Council at 307-777-7742, or check out our web site.

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