Wyoming Arts Council

Teachers! Feed your kids a poem!

Teachers, there is still time to sign up your class for the Wyoming Poetry Out Loud project. In case you didn’t see it, here’s the text of a letter the WAC mailed statewide in September:

On behalf of Wyoming Arts Council (WAC), I want to invite your participation in the third year of Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The National Endowment for the Arts, the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, and the Poetry Foundation, the nation’s largest literary organization, have partnered together with WAC to bring Poetry Out Loud to high schools across America.

Poetry Out Loud builds on the recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as demonstrated by the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among our youth. The program encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and internalize our rich literary heritage.

Please see the attached fact sheets for more information about Poetry Out Loud. The program materials are available now, and the contest will take place during the spring semester of this school year. Many of the program materials are also available at www.poetryoutloud.org.

Last year, eight schools from across Wyoming participated in the program. Josh Schaberg from Buffalo High School, a second-time school winner, won the state finals and represented Wyoming at the national finals in Washington, D.C. In 2006, our first Wyoming POL winner was Kamaria Stephens of Cheyenne East High School.

This information may be shared with drama, speech and language arts teachers teaching grades 9-12. An entry form is attached. Please respond by December 14. If a school is interested in participating in Wyoming’s Poetry Out Loud competition, or needs further information, please contact: Marcia F. Dunsmore, Poetry Out Loud Coordinator, Wyoming Arts Council, 307-941-1281 or poetryoutloud@rushmore.com.

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