Regional finalists are selected through classroom, school and the regional contests, with one of those to be held at the Mishler Theatre in Altoona on February 21.
Last year, finalists were chosen from 10,000 Pennsylvania high school students. 100 Pennsylvania high schools incorporated Poetry Out Loud as part of their curriculums.
Each student memorizes and performs three poems selected from print and online poetry anthologies. Students are judged on voice and articulation, physical presence, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, overall performance, and accuracy.
Judges for the state and regional finals include performers, poets and cultural and business leaders from across the state.
The State Champion will represent the Commonwealth in the national championship in Washington, D.C. in May.
The state champion will receive $200 from The Poetry Foundation and an expense-paid trip to compete in the national championship, which will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with at least one $20,000 college scholarship.
For more information, go to www.poetryoutloud.org