Poetry Out Loud

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, administered statewide by the California Arts Council, Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Participants master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. California’s Poetry Out Loud is the largest event of its kind in the U.S., and has grown steadily since its inception. The 2018 competition series encompassed 46 counties, 261 schools, and 783 teachers, reaching nearly 73,000 students statewide.

The structure of Poetry Out Loud is similar to a spelling bee. This annual program starts in the fall, with high school teachers using the free Poetry Out Loud teacher toolkit and related materials to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions. Classroom winners advance to a school wide competition; school champions compete at the district or county level. 

The Sierra County Arts Council and the Sierra Plumas Joint Unified School District staff have implemented this program under the guidance of community volunteer Paul Guffin and all Sierra County High School students have been encouraged to participate.  The Sierra County competition took place on January 23, 2019 at Downieville School.  Sierra County’s winner competed in the Poetry Out Loud California State Finals in Sacramento in March.  The winner of the state event moves on to represent the Golden State in the national finals, April 23-25, in Washington, D.C.  Poems are selected from the National Poetry Out Loud website at https://www.poetryoutloud.org

For information contact Paul Guffin at 530 289 2751 or paul@guffin.net