The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partner with state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a competition that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through analysis, memorization, and recitation. The program helps teens master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
The 2021 season marks the 16th anniversary of Poetry Out Loud. Since its inception, the program has reached more than 3.8 million high school students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In Illinois 2021 : 3079 students and 84 teachers from 26 schools participated.
The Illinois Arts Council Agency works with these regional partners to produce Poetry Out Loud in Illinois:
- Southern: Carbondale Community Arts
- Southwestern: Southwestern Illinois College
- Northern: Rockford Area Arts Council
- Eastern: 40 North/88 West
- Chicago and Suburbs: The Poetry Center of Chicago
- Central: Springfield Area Arts Council
- Western: Quad City Arts