ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : COM-09-033

Date Created : 09/08/2008


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

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Optional
Section:   Central Administration - Dr. Diana Julian, Deputy Commissioner
2008-2009 Poetry Out Loud Contest for Grades 9-12

Regulatory Authority:

Contact Person:
Latanya Taylor

Phone Number:


The Arkansas Arts Council is pleased to announce its second annual POETRY OUT LOUD: A NATIONAL RECITATION CONTEST. Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a program organized by the Arkansas Arts Council in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. POL 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 late September to early February of the 2008-2009 school year to identify a school champion. All school champions will then compete to represent Arkansas at the national level on Saturday, March 7, 2009, in the Campus Center building on the Pulaski Technical College campus in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The national contest will be held on April 26-28, 2009, in Washington, D.C. The Poetry Foundation will provide monetary prizes, and the Arkansas Arts Council will ensure that funds are available to the state champion, a chaperone, and the champís teacher to 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 and FACT SHEET 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 and return it to the Arkansas Arts Council office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 19, 2008. The form must include the name of the teacher who will coordinate this activity in collaboration with Arts Council staff All statewide schools that return a SCHOOL ENTRY FORM will receive an updated teacherís guide, an anthology of poems, posters, and other curriculum materials.

An in-service workshop for teachers will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2008, from 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock. Participating teachers will receive six professional development credit hours, lunch, and mileage reimbursement, if driving from outside the Little Rock/North Little Rock areas. The deadline for registration for the workshop is Saturday, October 17, 2008.

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


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