The Elk County Council on the Arts would like to cordially invite the public to this year’s regional Poetry Out Loud competition taking place Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Harriett B. Wick Chapel on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.
A partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Elk County Council on the Arts, 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 for high school students across the country.
Students from the St. Marys Area High School, Elk County Catholic High School and Oswayo Valley High School will gather to compete and recite the poems they have selected for a panel of esteemed judges.
Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations across the nation have participated in the program.
Poetry Out Loud begins at the local level with a school or organization. Winners advance to a regional-wide competition, then to the state competitions in February and March, and then to the national finals in the spring.
Arts education programs like Poetry Out Loud matter. National Endowment for the Arts research tells us that children who have arts opportunities in and out of school are much more likely to become adults who participate in the arts.
Students who participate in Poetry Out Loud also showed an increase in self-confidence and found that reading and listening to poetry helped them think about situations from multiple perspectives.
Supporting these endeavors is important for our community. If anyone has any further questions or if you’re a teacher hoping to get involved next year, please contact the Elk County Council on the Arts at 814-772-7051.