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Teachers can register now for statewide Poetry Out Loud competition for high school students

Sept. 2, 2015

Registration for the 2016 National Poetry Out Loud program and competition is underway through Dec. 1. High school teachers and students are invited to get involved in the dynamic program structured similarly to the National Spelling Bee, but focused on literary heritage through memorization and performance of classic and contemporary works. Registration is open to all high-school aged Nevada public, private, charter, parochial and alternative schools and home school associations.

“The talent and confidence we see in students, who get on stage and make these works their own, is just really remarkable. These teenagers inspire and they have plenty of fun in the process,” said Maryjane Dorofachuk, arts learning coordinator for the Nevada Arts Council, a sponsor of the program. The Poetry Out Loud state champion earns $1,000, wins $1,000 for his or her school to support literary programs and travels to Washington, D.C. to compete for $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes at the national finals. Those who place second and third at the Nevada State Finals receive $500 each and $500 for their schools.

Poetry Out Loud begins at the local level as students learn about, memorize and finally present out loud poetry from the website, In 2015, more than 3,000 students, teachers and coaches participated in Nevada’s Poetry Out Loud. Last year’s state champion Dominique Groffman of Douglas County represented Nevada at the national finals. Video of the 2015 state finals is at .

Teachers are invited to find out more about 2016 Nevada Poetry Out Loud and to register to participate by Dec. 1 at the Nevada Arts Council’s website, or contact Maryjane Dorofachuk at (702) 486-3738 or The Nevada Poetry Out Loud Program is an initiative of the Nevada Arts Council, and is co-sponsored by the Nevada Department of Education and Cultural Alliance Nevada, and is made possible through support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

National Arts in Education week is Sept. 13-19, recognizing the importance of the arts for a well-rounded education. The U.S. Senate on July 16 approved its bipartisan bill, Every Child Achieves Act, which contains 11 arts-friendly provisions, and retains the arts as a core academic subject. Learn more about National Arts in Education Week.