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MONTEREY COUNTY — Arts Council for Monterey County (Arts4MC) will host the annual Poetry Out Loud (POL), a national recitation competition for local high school students, on Saturday, Feb. 3.

The 2024 POL competition will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the CSUMB Alumni and Visitors Center at 100 Campus Center in Seaside. The event will also be live-streamed on YouTube via the @arts4mc channel.

Poetry Out Loud, presented in partnership with Arts4MC, the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry — both classic and contemporary — through memorization, performance and competition. 

Since the program began in 2005, more than 4.3 million students and 76,000 teachers from 19,000 schools across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

The winner of the competition will advance to the state-wide Poetry Out Loud contest in Sacramento on March 17-18. The California champion will advance to the 2024 POL National Finals in Washington, D.C., on April 30 to May 2, where a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

“We couldn’t be happier to host this event again this year,” said Jacquie Atchison, executive director for Arts4MC. “Seeing the students on stage putting their all into their performance piece is nothing short of moving. I encourage everyone to come out and witness it for themselves.”

Local participating schools include: Alisal High School, Everett Alvarez High School, Gonzales High School, Notre Dame High School, Pacific Grove High School, Palma School, Rancho San Juan High School, Salinas High School and York School.

For more information, or to reserve a seat, visit arts4mc.org, or contact Karyn Lee-Garcia, chief programs officer, at [email protected] or call 831-622-9060 x102.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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