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Poetry Out Loud competition gives students creative outlet and chance to win trip to D.C.

Poetry Out Loud, a poetry recitation contest, celebrates its 10th year in Kentucky schools in 2015.
The contest starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to schoolwide competition, then to the state competition, Feb. 19 at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. Fifteen Kentucky schools, including three that are new to the Poetry Out Loud program, will compete for the chance to represent Kentucky at the Poetry Out Loud national finals April 28-29 in Washington, D.C.
Storytellers, poets and stage performers from across the state will be visiting each of the participating schools to mentor students on how to improve their recitations.
Susan Ryan, the Gifted and Talented Program coordinator for Elizabethtown Independent Schools, which includes first-time Poetry Out Loud participant Elizabethtown High School, said Poetry Out Loud helps students find their creative voice, especially among students who never thought they could perform.
“Anytime we give students a creative product, they go crazy with it,” Ryan said. “Teachers are going to see some kid come to life in Poetry Out Loud who, on any other day of the week, would not be inclined to speak up in class.”
Participating schools are:
• Boyd County High School, Ashland
• Grant County High School, Dry Ridge
• Elizabethtown High School, Elizabethtown *
• Western Hills High School, Frankfort
• Franklin County High School, Frankfort
• West Carter High School, Grayson *
• East Ridge High School, Lick Creek
• Butler Traditional High School, Louisville
• Graves County High School, Mayfield *
• Hart County High School, Munfordville
• McCracken County High School, Paducah
• Phelps Junior and Senior High Schools, Phelps
• Pike County Central High School, Pikeville
• Allen County-Scottsville High School, Scottsville
• George Rogers Clark High School, Winchester
*– denotes a school new to the Poetry Out Loud program in 2015
The winner of the state finals receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up receives $100, with $200 going to his or her school library.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.
From the Kentucky Arts Council

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