Rhinelander High School freshman Rachel Uhlarik will compete in the state Poetry Out Loud competition in Madison March 14. At the regional level, three Rhinelander students vied for the opportunity to attend the State competition, with Uhlarik finishing in the top two.
Students need to memorize and recite two poems for regional competition demonstrating accuracy, dramatic appropriateness and understanding. For the Madison competition, Rachel will need three poems memorized, one being more than 25 lines long and one being from before the 20th century.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington D.C. 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.