Grants & Programs

Poetry Out Loud: Contest Structure

There are no official awards for students at the classroom and school level contests. Teachers decide on the level of recognition to bestow on contest winners. A certificate of participation is available for download.

Two winners from each Regional Contest advance to the Illinois State Finals in Springfield, IL. Travel expenses with an adult chaperone for each will be reimbursed.  

The Illinois State Champion receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. The Illinois State Champion’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.

The Illinois first runner-up receives $100, with $200 for his or her school.

A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends at the National Finals will be awarded. 

Awards will be made by the National Endowment for the Arts and will be reported to the IRS. Tax liabilities are the sole responsibility of the winners and their families. In keeping with federal law, competitors at the state and national finals will be required to certify their U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.