Nevada’s premier poetry program and competition kicks off the 2017 season with registration open for the dynamic initiative that is structured similarly to the National Spelling Bee, but focuses on literary heritage through memorization and performance of classic and contemporary works.

The Poetry Out Loud state champion earns $1,000, wins $1,000 for his or her school to support literary programs and travels to Washington, D.C., to compete for $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals. Those who place second and third at the Nevada State Finals receive $500 each and $500 for their schools.

In 2016, more than 2,000 students, teachers and coaches participated in Nevada’s Poetry Out Loud. Last year’s state champion, Mikayla Bates of Elko County, represented Nevada at the national finals.

Registration for all counties is open to high school-aged students, Nevada public, private, charter, parochial and alternative schools and home school associations, through Dec. 2.

A component of the Nevada Arts Council’s Arts Learning Program, Poetry Out Loud is co-sponsored by the Nevada Department of Education and Cultural Alliance Nevada. Nevada Poetry Out Loud is made possible through funding and leadership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and support by the NV Energy Foundation.

Poetry Out Loud begins at the local level. Students master public-speaking and memorization skills, build self-confidence, practice communications and finally present out loud poetry. Starting at the classroom level, teachers are provided with free multimedia curriculum materials – a Learning Recitation audio guide, a teacher’s guide, posters and comprehensive website, – all aligned to national standards – to augment their regular poetry curriculum with poetry recitation at a school-level, then district-level competition. A semi-finalist and a chaperone from each participating school district receive support to attend the spring state finals in Reno.

Teachers are invited to find out more about 2017 Nevada Poetry Out Loud and to register to participate by Dec. 2. Contact Maryjane Dorofachuk at (702) 486-3738 or