ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : LS-08-024

Date Created : 09/07/2007


Co-op Directors
High School Principals
other: English/Speech & Oral Communications/Drama&Theater Instructors
Literacy Specialist

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Optional
Section:   Learning Services - Dr. Diana Julian, Assistant Commissioner
2007-2008 Poetry Out Loud Contest for Grades 9-12

Regulatory Authority:

Contact Person:
Christopher Barnes

Phone Number:


The Arkansas Arts Council is pleased to announce the third annual Poetry Out Loud: A National Recitation Contest. Poetry Out Loud is a program organized by the Arkansas Arts Council in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Poetry Out Loud encourages the nationís youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. Through this program, students in grades 9-12 are given assistance in developing strong public speaking skills and in building self-confidence. All statewide high schools are invited to participate in the contest.

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 September-February of the 2007-2008 school year to identify a school champion. All school champions will then compete to represent Arkansas at the national level on Saturday, March 1, 2008, at the William F. Laman Public Library in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The national contest will be held on April 27-29, 2008, in Washington, D.C. The Poetry Foundation will provide monetary prizes, and the Arkansas Arts Council will ensure that funds are available for travel to the national event.

The schedule and curriculum utilized by the Poetry Out Loud program have been specifically designed not to pre-empt other classroom activities and curricula. In addition, the curriculum and activities of the program directly correlate with the amended 2006 Arkansas English Language Arts Curriculum Frameworks, specifically standards one and two of the Oral and Visual Communications strands.

Interested parties may view the attached Program Overview for more detailed information about the Poetry Out Loud program. There will also be specific program materials available for participating schools. Information may also be obtained through the program web site:

In order to participate in the Poetry Out Loud Contest, a school official must complete the attached School Entry Form that includes the name of the teacher whom will coordinate this activity in collaboration with Arts Council staff and return the form to the Arkansas Arts Council office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2007. All statewide schools that return a School Entry Form will receive an updated teacherís guide, an anthology of approximately 130 poems, posters, and other curriculum materials.

An in-service workshop for teachers will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2007, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the William F. Laman Public Library. Teachers wishing to attend this in-service training should complete and return the attached In-Service Workshop Registration Form by mail or fax to the Arkansas Arts Council, no later than Friday, October 19, 2007. Participating teachers will receive six professional development credit hours and lunch and mileage reimbursement, if driving from outside the Little Rock/North Little Rock areas.

For more information, contact Cynthia Haas, Arts in Education Program Manager, at 501-324-9769 or by e-mail at


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