The Arkansas Arts Council invites high schools to participate in POETRY OUT LOUD: A NATIONAL RECITATION CONTESTĖ an exciting new program taking place in high schools throughout Arkansas this spring. The National Endowment for the Arts, the nationís largest annual financial supporter of the arts, and the Poetry Foundation, the nationís largest literary organization, have partnered together to bring this event to high schools across the United States. The Arkansas Arts Council has partnered with both organizations to bring the event across Arkansas.
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 young people. The program encourages this nationís youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and internalize this nation's rich literary heritage.
The first thirty high schools to return an entry form will be provided with a program guide, an anthology of approximately 100 poems, posters, and other curriculum materials. The schedule and curriculum have been specifically designed not to pre-empt other classroom activities and curricula. POETRY OUT LOUD also correlates directly to the 2003 Arkansas English Language Arts Framework, specifically, Standards 1 and 2 of the Oral and Visual Communication strands.
The contest will follow a traditional pyramid structure similar to the National Spelling Bee. Each participating school will commit to using the NATIONAL POETRY RECITATION CONTEST program during January-March of the 2006 spring semester to identify a school champion. All school champions will compete to represent Arkansas at the national level during the Arkansas Literary Festival in Little Rock, on April 21-23, 2006. The national contest will be held in Washington, D. C., on May 16, 2006. The Poetry Foundation will provide monetary prizes, and the Arkansas Arts Council will ensure that funds are available to travel to the national event.
Schools interested in participating in Arkansasí POETRY OUT LOUD competition, should hand deliver by 4:30 p.m., or postmark no later than December 16, 2005, to: POL Contest, Arkansas Arts Council, 1500 Tower Building, 323 Center Street, Little Rock, AR 72201.