Poetry Out Loud is a competition 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. After successful pilot programs in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, POL was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating. POL has grown every year with over 365,000 students competing.
Prior to this final round in Tuscaloosa, the students will participate in a primary competition at their respective high schools. Students competing in the District 3 POL program are eligible to compete in the national/anthology portion of the program, the original poetry portion or both. The Alabama State Council on the Arts sponsors the original poetry competition. Traveling to Montgomery, Ala. in 2020, the winners in both the recitation and original poetry portions will compete in the state-wide competition. The winner in the national/anthology portion will then have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for a final round.
Sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, Alabama State Council on the Arts and The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa. The Region 3 Coordinator for Poetry Out Loud is Sharron Rudowski, Education Director for The Arts Council.