Participants in Poetry Out Loud Dwindle As The English Curriculum Fills Teachers’ Time

Poetry Out Loud, a 6-month national competition ran by Derrith Green and Susan Jackson,t has lived in the Windsor High school’s climate for 10 years but unfortunately is beginning to lose participation. The competition that once had students eager to join has now become another announcement they hear on the microphone.

The competition is based on poetry recitation and a poem is chosen by the reader from the database. Students have a choice of up to 400 poets with 2-3 pieces by each poet.

The entire process of picking students and the advancement is complex. It starts with an in-class tournament, semi-finals, finals. and lastly the school championship. The winner of the school championship progresses into the state competition and inevitably the national competition.

Poetry Out Loud logo.


In the past, contestants prepared for POL with workshops throughout the 6 months. Although WHS is known for having a  many participants, this year the numbers have dwindled. With the new English curriculum, teachers have had no time to host the competition in their classrooms. In past years, up to ten English educators would hold a classroom match and up to 500 students participated. This year, there is a solid 5 teachers engaging in the in-school tournament.

“One teacher in particular who has participated every year for about 4 years isn’t this year because of the demands of the English curriculum,” explained Green.

With the additional demands such as SAT prep on their plate, teachers have been left with no room for Poetry Out Loud to fit. Teachers are devastated that it is now difficult to find time for the workshops and practicing with their students.

On Jan. 7 there will be the after-school contest for POL. Show your support to fellow students and encourage them on their way to the end.