What Is POL?

With all the talk in our common core standards for ‘deeper understanding’ as the progressive skill, this activity [POL] is invaluable.
— Theresa Ciccone, English Teacher, Monmouth Regional High School

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national poetry recitation program for all public, charter, parochial school and home school students grades 9-12, or the age/grade equivalent. Other grades are welcome to register and run the program at the school level, but do not qualify for the contest. National Poetry Out Loud 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, in collaboration with Mayo Performing Arts Center, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation and a growing list of local partners. POL Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

Since 2005, POL Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The national POL website offers a full breakdown of the competition process:

The website also includes resources for teachers and poems for students. Click here for more.