Council Seeking Partner for NJ Poetry Out Loud Program
Technical assistance office hours will be available in April.

Deadline to apply: April 22, 2021, 4:00 PM EST
Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. The national Poetry Out Loud program is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies of the United States.
In New Jersey, POL is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (the Council) in collaboration with regional partners (nonprofit arts education and performing arts organizations), ArtPride NJ Foundation, and CavanKerry Press. Together, they organize New Jersey’s 21 counties by geographic region - in response to a growing participation base. POL is open to all public, charter, parochial school and home school students grades 9-12, or the age/grade equivalent. In New Jersey, middle schools are invited to implement the New Jersey Poetry Out Loud (NJPOL) curriculum; however, they are not eligible to participate in the contests.
The Council is seeking proposals from an organization to serve as lead partner to work in collaboration with the State Arts Council to manage, strengthen, and grow NJPOL within the framework and mission of the host organization and Council priorities.

New Jersey arts organizations, units of government, and colleges or universities who meet the eligibility requirements are invited to apply. 

Within the scope of work, the selected organization will be given, and encouraged to, fully leverage latitude for originality in its implementation and execution of the program. NJPOL requires broad outreach and promotion of the program to high schools in all 21 counties of New Jersey, distribution of educational materials to teachers and facilitators registered in the program, facilitation of NJPOL regional and state contests in partnership with regional partners, and coordination of winning student’s preparation and travel for the national contest. NJPOL builds the education community by providing supplemental programming of the poetry contest for example, income producing poetry residency and professional development opportunities for middle and high schools centered on the Poetry Out Loud curriculum.
The cosponsor partner organization will be responsible for the overall management of NJPOL which includes responsibility for all communication and reporting requirements to the National Endowment for the Arts and fundraising for NJPOL programming. In addition, the organization will collaborate closely with Council staff on the development, assessment, and revisions (as needed) of program goals, benchmarks and budget. A portion of the NJPOL budget is allocated for the salary and fringe benefits to employ a full-time Program Coordinator to administer the program, jointly supervised with Council staff. The NJPOL Coordinator will be based out of the Council offices in Trenton.

The FY22 RFP application must be submitted by April 22, 2021 at 4:00 PM EST.
Requests for extensions to the deadline will not be permitted.

Technical Assistance Is Available

Virtual Office Hours are offered via Zoom for drop-in help with your questions about the program and Request for Proposal. Registration is required.

If you have questions regarding the RFP or the open office hours listed below, please contact
Arts Education Program Officer Porché Hardy at or

April 1, 2021 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
 & 2:00 – 3:00 pm

April 8, 2021 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
April 15, 2021 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts is committed to making all of its programs accessible to all people. For accessibility services related to filing this application, please contact Accessibility Coordinator, Mary Eileen Fouratt at 609-984-6815 (NJ Relay 711) or
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts website, pages, and documents may be translated for your convenience using translation software powered by Google Translate, a free online language translation service that can translate text and web pages into different languages. Reasonable efforts have been made to verify the reliability of the translation service, however, no automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace human translators. NJ State Council on the Arts does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Some pages may not be accurately translated due to the limitations of the translation software. Text in images, PDF files, Word documents or other document types cannot be translated. The official text is the English version. Any discrepancies or differences created in the translation are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of the information contained in the translation, please refer to the English version of the website which is the official version.
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the Council, please visit