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About the Program

The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. More than 2.4 million high school students from more than 4,000 high schools across the United States have discovered the magic of beautiful language through Poetry Out Loud. 

Over the past ten years, nearly 100,000 high school students in Pennsylvania have participated in Poetry Out Loud. This year, more than 7,000 students in over 100 high schools across the commonwealth participated in this exceptional contest.


2016 POL News and Results

The 2016 Pennsylvania Poetry Out Loud State Finals took place on Monday, March 7 at The State Museum of Pennsylvania's Auditorium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Greer LeRoy, a sophomore at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Beaver County is Pennsylvania's 2016 Poetry Out Loud state chamption. She will represent Pennsylvania in the national contest in Washington, D.C. on May 2-4.

Second Place went to KiraJayne Burkhauser, a senior in the Hermitage School District in Mercer County.


 2016 Pennsylvania Poetry Out Loud state champion, Greer LeRoy



2016 Poetry Out Loud regional finalists

Row 1 (l-r): Lillian Rauss, Indiana Area School District; Arianna Smith, Bloomsburg Christian School; KiraJayne Burkhauser, Hermitage School District (with trophy); Greer LeRoy, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School (with trophy); Anna Hershey, Juniata County School District; Mary Huffman, Scranton School District; Jessica Lehman, Merion Mercer Academy.

Row 2 (l-r): Isabel Gonzalez, Reading School District; Abbi Knouse, Warwick School District; Renee Short, Derry Area School District; Elizabeth Catalano, Hollidaysburg Area School District; Lauren Atwell, St. Mary's Area School District; Loren McCullough, Easton Area School District; Ulysses Yarber, The Delta Program: State College Area School District.


Photos courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services.

Poetry Out Loud State Manager: Gayle Cluck


Judges for the state and regional finals include performers, poets and cultural and business leaders from across the state. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) sponsors the statewide competition along with its regional partners and arts organizations.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Poetry Out Loud is part of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA)’s ongoing efforts to foster educational excellence for Pennsylvania’s students through participation in the creative process. 

The PCA collaborates with fourteen regional partners who administer the regional competitions from the classroom to the state championship.

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