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High school students sought for poetry contest

Nov. 25, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

CHARLESTON -- The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is seeking high school students from across the state who attend public and private schools or who are homeschooled who want to compete in the eighth annual Poetry Out Loud recitation contest.

The national program is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. It is an opportunity for high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

"Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to develop a better understanding of, and appreciation for, great poetry," said Cicely Bosley, Arts in Education coordinator for the division.

Local school competitions take place from November through January. Winners in the classroom and school competitions will move to the state finals at the Culture Center in March, and the state champion advances to the national competition in Washington, D.C., in April.

Poetry Out Loud takes one to three weeks of classroom time and may be incorporated with existing poetry units. Public and private high school teachers and homeschool associations that want to learn more about the program and become a part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must register by Dec. 1.

For more information or to register, visit www.wvculture.org/arts/pol/index.html and contact the coordinator, Cicely Bosley, at cicely.j.bosley@wv.gov or 304-558-0240.

Students who participate in the official Poetry Out Loud program may be eligible to compete in the 2012-2013 state and national finals. Each state champion will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state champion's school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state will receive $100, and $200 for his or her school library. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

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