Virgin Islands Council on the Arts (VICA) has announced the territorial finals for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.
On March 9, 10 high school students will participate in the Poetry Out Loud state finals at the Arthur Abel Complex on St. Croix. Participating in the territorial finals this year will be the Charlotte Amalie High School, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, All Saints Cathedral School, Montessori School, Antilles School, Tutu Church of God Academy, St. Thomas-St. John Seventh-day Adventist School, St. Croix Central High, Free Will Baptist Christian School and the St. Croix Seventh-day Adventist School.
Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. It uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and ultimately to the national finals in Washington, D.C. More than 300,000 students from 2,300 high schools took part in the 2017–2018 Poetry Out Loud program. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information on the territorial finals, contact 774-5984 or visit www.poetryoutloud.org.
The winner of the Poetry Out Loud V.I. finals will receive $700, and the winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up will receive $400, with $200 for his or her school library. The state champion will receive an all-expenses-paid trip (with an adult chaperone) to compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C., April 30–May 1.
The Poetry Out Loud National finals will present a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, with 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 for Poetry Out Loud. At the V.I. territorial finals, contestants will recite works they selected from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. The NEA and the Poetry Foundation provide free, standards-based curriculum materials that teachers may use in their classrooms, including an online poetry anthology, a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, posters, and video and audio on the art of recitation. Schools are welcome to download these resources at www.poetryoutloud.org.