Reading & Literacy

Students’ Recitations Could Earn Them Big Bucks in New Poetry Contest

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — December 06, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation are betting on the popularity of poetry slams and rap music among young people to help build participation in a new contest emphasizing memorization and performance.

The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest will expand on a pilot program early next year with local and state competitions for high school students nationwide. It will culminate in a national finals next spring, with $50,000 in scholarships for the winners.

“Learning great poetry by heart develops the mind and imagination,” endowment Chairman Dana Gioia, a respected poet himself, said in a statement. “By immersing themselves in powerful language and ideas, the students will develop their ability to speak well, especially in public.”

Contestants will recite and perform select poems and other literary works. They will be judged on volume, speed, voice inflection, posture and presence, evidence of understanding, pronunciation, gestures, accuracy, and level of difficulty. No composition is involved.

The national endowment and the foundation, which publishes Poetry magazine, will also offer print and online materials to help teachers teach poetry recitation and performance. They have each pledged $500,000 to support the project.

For more information, go to


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
How to Leverage Virtual Learning: Preparing Students for the Future
Hear from an expert panel how best to leverage virtual learning in your district to achieve your goals.
Content provided by Class
English-Language Learners Webinar AI and English Learners: What Teachers Need to Know
Explore the role of AI in multilingual education and its potential limitations.
Education Webinar The K-12 Leader: Data and Insights Every Marketer Needs to Know
Which topics are capturing the attention of district and school leaders? Discover how to align your content with the topics your target audience cares about most. 

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Reading & Literacy Opinion Tired of the Reading Wars? Become a Conscientious Objector
Teachers' obligation is to their students. The research combined with the knowledge of individual students should be the guide.
14 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Reading & Literacy Opinion Don’t Worry About 'Book Bans'
So-called “book bans” are a lot rarer—and more reasonable—than you might think, argue Max Eden and Jay P. Greene.
Max Eden & Jay P. Greene
5 min read
Tidy vector hand drawn background with Books, Vintage cozy elements, printed publications, volumes of literature, retro library flying objects, decor textile, wrapping paper, wallpaper,  textured pattern
Olga Kurbatova/iStock
Reading & Literacy Opinion Teachers, You Don't Need to Choose Sides in the Reading Wars
Instead of arguing over who's right, let's focus attention on expanding knowledge about unresolved instructional issues.
12 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Reading & Literacy Teachers College to 'Dissolve' Lucy Calkins' Reading and Writing Project
The consulting group, founded by the popular and controversial literacy icon Lucy Calkins, will soon be shutting its doors.
4 min read
090523 columbia teachers college AP BS
The exterior of Teachers College, Columbia University, which will no longer house the popular—and controversial—literacy consultancy, the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.
Diane Bondareff/AP