Poetry Out Loud is a free national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Students learn about great works of poetry through memorization and recitation. In the spring, they compete in schoolwide, regional, state, and national finals.
Last spring, New Jersey’s state finals were scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 17. As we all know, the Covid-19 shutdown took place very rapidly by the end of the week before. Like so many other important events in our lives, the state and national Poetry Out Loud competitions were cancelled. In recognition of New Jersey’s regional winners - who missed the chance to compete on the state and national levels - a minute long NJ Poetry Out Loud at Home video was made from the student’s own videos of themselves reciting one of the poems they had come to understand, and even love, over the year.
The students featured in the minute video are New Jersey’s 2020 regional winners, from the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School, Northern Valley Regional High School Old Tappan, Essex County Donald M. Payne School of Technology, Kent Place School, Morris County School of Technology, Sparta High School, Holmdel High School, J.P. Stevens High School, Red Bank Regional High School, Woodstown High School, Mainland Regional High School, Lawrenceville School, and Stuart Country Day School.
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The State of the Arts team