The events are free and open to the public. Students from throughout the region will recite poetry at the Nevada Poetry Out Loud semi-finals for a chance to compete at the Nevada State Finals on March 24 in Reno, and perhaps at the National Finals in Washington, D.C.
Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about, memorize and finally present poetry — out loud. 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 Poetry Out Loud Finals. Second- and third-place winners at the Nevada State Finals receive $500 each and $500 for their schools.
“The dynamic poetry recitation program focuses on literary heritage through memorization and performance of classic and contemporary poetry,” said Maryjane Dorfachuk, arts education program coordinator for the Nevada Arts Council.
The seventh annual Nevada Poetry Out Loud events are open to all Nevada public, private, charter, parochial and alternative schools and home school associations.
Washoe County’s competition is set for 5:30 p.m. today at the Reno Little Theater, 147 E. Pueblo St. Carson City’s competition will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Carson High School. Lyon County will be at 4 p.m. today at the Jeanne Dini Cultural Center in Yerington. Churchill County will hold its competition at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Churchill County High School in Fallon and Storey County’s is set for 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Virginia City High School.
The student winner and a chaperone from each participating school district receive support to attend the State Finals on March 24 in Reno.
More than 2,000 students are participating statewide in this year’s Powering Up Poetry events representing 15 of Nevada’s 16 counties that have high schools. For three years, Emily Orellana of Rainshadow Community Charter High School in Reno represented Nevada at the national finals in Washington, D.C. For two years in a row, Orellana emerged as one of nine national finalists, receiving another $1,000 and $500 for the purchase of poetry books for her school.
Starting at the classroom level, teachers are provided with free multimedia curriculum materials — a poetry anthology, audio guide, teachers’ guide, posters and comprehensive website, www.poetryoutloud.org, all aligned to national standards — to augment their regular poetry curriculum with poetry recitation.
For more information, visit the Nevada Arts Council’s website at nac.nevadaculture.org or contact Maryjane Dorofachuk at 702-486-3738 or dorofachuk@NevadaCulture.org.