An annual element of our Arts in Education programming is Poetry Out Loud. The Perry County Council of the Arts has administered a regional level competition of Poetry Out Loud since 2008.  Open to all high school students in Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Snyder and Huntingdon counties, Poetry Out Loud is a national memorization and recitation contest administered nationally by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Nearly 4500 high schools across the country and 112 high schools in Pennsylvania participate in the annual Poetry Out Loud (POL) national recitation contest! Join us! Your high school’s champion will participate in the regional finals administered by PCCA; the regional champion will participate in the state finals.  PCCA’s seven county service region includes Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Union, Snyder and Huntingdon counties.  The state champion will travel expense-free to Washington, DC for the national finals.

Poetry Out Loud is a free program offered to every high school student in Pennsylvania.  Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.  Studying literature, including poetry, practicing speaking, listening, language and reading skills strongly supports your district’s curriculum.

You may see the teachers’ guide at:

Please contact PCCA Arts in Education Coordinator Rebecca Covert at or at 717-925-8205 to learn more and sign up.  

Pictured left: Nicholas Jacobson of Lewisburg Area High School – 2017, 2018 and 2019 PCCA regional winner


More than 2.4 million high school students from more than 4,000 high schools across the United States have discovered the magic of beautiful language through Poetry Out Loud. Over the past ten years, more than 100,000 high school students from 320 in Pennsylvania have participated in Poetry Out Loud. In 2017, 7,000 students from 108 high schools across the commonwealth participated in the annual contest.

Poetry Out Loud starts at the classroom level, with winners advancing to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals. Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.

Judges for the state and regional finals include performers, poets and cultural and business leaders from across the state. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) sponsors the statewide competition along with its regional partners and arts organizations.

Poetry Out Loud is part of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA)’s ongoing efforts to foster educational excellence for Pennsylvania’s students through participation in the creative process.

Visit the Poetry Out Loud website for more details: