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INDIANAPOLIS — The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud in partnership with the Indiana Arts Commission.

This national arts education program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills and build self-confidence, while also learning more about both classic and contemporary poetry.

During the 2020-21 school year, schools are invited to participate in classroom and school wide contests (virtual or in-person), advancing to a state competition in March 2021. State champions will advance to the national finals, to take place in April 2021, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

High schools that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must sign up by Dec. 11, 2020, to participate. Schools can contact Stephanie Haines at shaines@iac.in.gov or visit poetryoutloud.org for more information.

As part of Poetry Out Loud, the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation provide free, standards-based curriculum materials that teachers may use in their classrooms, including an online poetry anthology containing more than 1,100 classic and contemporary poems, a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, posters, and video and audio on the art of recitation. Schools are welcome to download these resources at poetryoutloud.org.

Each state champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the national finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion. The Poetry Foundation provides and administers all aspects of the monetary prizes awarded and travel arrangements to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals.

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