On March 12, 2020, Missouri’s regional champions of Poetry Out Loud 2020 will gather in Jefferson City to determine who will go on to represent our state at the national finals in Washington, D.C. on April 27-29.
Thousands of Missouri high school students began competing last fall in a pyramid structure of contests starting at the classroom level, then school-wide, then regional. The regional contests are taking place during February.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that 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, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Missouri has participated in Poetry Out Loud every year since the program was founded in 2006 by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The Poetry Foundation and the NEA administer Poetry Out Loud together with the state arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The Missouri Arts Council and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education work in partnership to bring Poetry Out Loud to Missouri.
The state champions will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the finals for themselves and an adult chaperone. Their high schools receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.