Poetry Out Loud is a nationwide contest that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. It uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.
This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud. After successful pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Chicago, Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 and has grown to involve millions of students across the country.
Silverbee represented Poetry Out Loud in its 10th competition in 2015.