WHO: Your high school students.

U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled in grades 9-12 are eligible, with an exception made for 8th-grade students participating in a 9th- through 12th-grade class.

WHAT: Reciting poems at school, regional, state, and national levels.

Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest gives students an opportunity to select, memorize, and perform some of the world's greatest poems in front of peers and audiences. Ultimately, they gain a better understanding of poetry, the strength and utility of language, and themselves.

WHY: Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about our shared literary heritage.

Encouraging students to study, memorize, and perform some of the most influential and timeless poems in the English language immerses them in powerful expression and provocative ideas. Students can win cash prizes, money for their school libraries, and the title of state - or even National - Poetry Out Loud Champion.

WHEN: Now! Your class can participate this fall.

The Poetry Out Loud curriculum is designed to fit into a teacher's busy schedule. The program takes place over the span of 2-3 weeks according to each teacher's interest and agenda and does not require full class periods. POL school contests vary in size from very small to very large. Poetry Out Loud satisfies several key Language and Reading Common Core requirements and most of the NCTE English Language Arts Standards. Register NOW at www.oac.ohio.gov/poetryoutloudContact your state Poetry Out Loud coordinator at pol.contractor@oac.ohio.gov or call 614-728-4481. Visit www.poetryoutload.org for more information about this free national arts program. Poetry Out Loud is completely free to students, teachers, and schools.