2020-2021 Hawaii Program Information

We are excited to share that there WILL be a Poetry Out Loud (POL) program this year! Please note both the Hawaiʻi State Finals and National Finals will be virtual.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) strongly encourages teachers and organizers at all contest levels to hold virtual competitions for the 2020-2021 POL season. The NEA makes this suggestion for the safety and well-being of students, parents, teachers, and everyone involved with POL.

Q: What is Poetry Out Loud (POL)?
POL is a FREE national arts education program for high school students designed to fit a teacher’s busy schedule, and can be done via distance learning. Students gain public speaking skills, build-self confidence, and learn about classic and contemporary poetry.

Participating teachers/staff receive a toolkit to teach poetry recitation and run class/school/organization level contests. Champions advance to the Hawaiʻi State Finals and ultimately the National Finals.

To learn more or view this year’s Teacher’s Guide, download the pdf here.

Q: What will the format be for the Hawaiʻi State Finals? 
We have selected to hold a Video Submission Contest.

Q: What does Video Submission Contest mean? 
For a Video Submission Contest, each student records and saves each recitation as a separate video file. Students send video(s) via email or a file sharing platform (i.e. Dropbox, We Transfer, etc.) to the POL organizer. The organizer reviews submissions to ensure the videos meet film requirements and then forwards to the judges for their review.

Contest judges and the accuracy judge must provide scores for each criterion and review independently—the same as live competitions. Organizers set a deadline for judges to submit scores and then tally the scores. For video submission contests, videos must not be edited, but students may record their recitations more than once and send their best recording for each recitation.

Q: What will the format be for the National Finals? 
The National Finals will also be a Video Submission Contest. We know the National Finals will be in spring, at this time dates are still to be determined.

Q: What format should we use for our school or organizational level contest(s)?
We kindly ask that you also conduct a Video Submission Contest. Standardizing the format for local POL contests will allow us to provide better technical assistance and support, flexibility for participants, and a chance for students who advance to the Hawaiʻi State Finals (and National Finals!) to practice and become familiar with the process.
All virtual contests must abide by the evaluation criteria and rules specified in the Teacher’s Guide. If you have any questions or concerns regarding administering your POL virtual contest, please know that we are here to help. Please contact Tamara at Honolulu Theatre for Youth at edadmin@htyweb.org OR poetryoutloud@arts.gov for additional guidance.

Q: Where can I find information on how to film a POL recitation? 
Please review the document below and scroll to Page 2.
> Download PDF

Q: How do we register our school or organization?
Please identify a lead teacher/staff to complete the REGISTRATION FORM and serve as main contact. Registration forms are due by January 18, 2021.

Q: What if we need help with technology in order for students to participate in POL?
Please send more information to edadmin@htyweb.org.

Q: What is the program timeline?
• Jan 18, 2021 – Deadline to register your school or organization
• Feb 18, 2021 – Deadline for school or organization’s CHAMPION to submit recorded videos for the  State Hawaiʻi  Finals *This mean you’ll need to decide when to hold your contest and how much time to provide your CHAMPION to record their three poems*
• March 1, 2021 –  Hawaiʻi State Finals: Judges view and score Round 1 & Round 2 poems
• March 2, 2021 – Announce Top 3
• March 5, 2021 –  Hawaiʻi State Finals: Judges view and score Round 3 poems for Top 3
• March 7, 2021 – Announce 2021 Hawaiʻi  State Champion