FRANKFORT -- The Kentucky Arts Council has opened registration for the 2020 season of Poetry Out Loud, a poetry recitation competition sponsored by the arts council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

"Poetry Out Loud is an important component of our arts education mission because it exposes students to great literature, allows them to work with some of Kentucky's fantastic teaching artists, and lets the students interpret the poems and perform them on stage in front of family and friends," said Chris Cathers, arts council executive director. "We hope to grow the number of Kentucky participants in this competition in 2020 and see the stage at the Grand Theatre packed with students."

Schools must register before Sept. 17 to be eligible for the 2020 competition. The contest starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to schoolwide competition, then to the state competition, March 3, 2020, at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort.

American Sign Language interpreters will be provided at the state competition.

The winner of the state finals receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete for a $20,000 scholarship in the national competition. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The state first runner-up receives $100, with $200 going to his or her school library.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud in Kentucky, contact Samuel Lockridge, arts council education director, at 502-892-3124, or samuel.lockridge@ky.gov.

For a general overview of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest visit poetryoutloud.org.

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