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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2007

Poetry Out Loud Looks For Participating Illinois Schools
More than $100,000 awarded nationally to students and schools in 2007

November 1, 2007 deadline for 2008 Poetry Out Loud participation

The Illinois Arts Council invites Illinois high schools to participate in the 2008 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, a free national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Poetry Out Loud encourages youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary heritage.

Starting at the classroom level in November, participating teachers will receive free multimedia curriculum materials – a poetry anthology, audio guide, teachers’ guide, posters, and comprehensive website, www.poetryoutloud.org, all aligned to national standards – augmenting their regular poetry curriculum with poetry recitation and a classroom-level competition. School-level recitation champions compete to advance to the state and then national levels. In 2007, Poetry Out Loud awarded more than $100,000 in prizes to students and schools at the state and national levels.

The Illinois Arts Council is partnering this year with the seven organizations throughout the state to administer the Poetry Out Loud program. Teachers interested in participating in Illinois’ competition should contact their nearest regional partner by Nov. 1, 2007.

Region Partner Contact Email Telephone

Central Illinois Springfield Area Arts Council Penny Wollan-Kriel pwk@springfieldartsco.org 217/753-3519
Chicagoland Literature for All of Us Liz McCabe lizmccabe@northwestern.edu 847/869-7323
Eastern Illinois 40 North/88 West (Champaign) Steven Bentz sbentz@40north.org
217/351-9841
Northern Illinois Rockford Area Arts Council Anne O'Keefe a.okeefe@artsforeveryone.com
815/963-6765
South Central Illinois Madison County Arts Council Genece Hamby info@jacobyartscenter.org
618/462-5222
Southern Illinois Carbondale Community Arts Nancy Stemper cca@neondsl.com
618/457-5100
Western Illinois Quad City Arts (Rock Island) Ryan Collins rcollins@quadcityarts.com 309/793-1213


Classroom and school-level contests should be completed by late February, the state-level championship takes place in early March, and the National Finals will be held in Washington, D.C., from April 27-29, 2008.
Further detail regarding the Poetry Out Loud program is available online: www.poetryoutloud.org .

For more information regarding Illinois Arts Council programs, please visit www.state.il.us/agency/iac/, call 312/814-6750, toll-free in Illinois 800/237-6994, TTY 888/261-7957 for individuals who have hearing or voice impairments, or email iac.info@illinois.gov. Individuals who are blind, have low vision, or have learning impairments may obtain assistance regarding Illinois Arts Council written materials by contacting the agency’s ADA/504 Access Coordinator.



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