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February 16, 2018

Ocean County College To Host Poetry Out Loud State Contest

For the first time, Ocean County College (OCC), sponsored by OCC’s School of Arts and Humanities, will host the 2018 New Jersey Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest on Monday, March 12, 10:00 a.m., Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, OCC Main Campus, Toms River. Ocean County College will livestream the event to participating high schools. (Note: This event is closed to the public.)

Six regional contests were held in February with each region sending two students to the state finals on March 12 at Ocean County College. Ocean County student Madhavi Steinert, Ocean County Vocational Technical School – Lakehurst Center, is one of twelve regional champions who will compete in the statewide competition!

Regional contests were held at Appel Farm Arts & Music Center (Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem), Bergen County College Ciccone Theatre (Bergen, Hudson, Passaic), Count Basie Theatre (Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean), Mayo Performing Arts Center (Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Warren), South Orange Performing Arts Center (Essex and Union), and Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts (Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer).

The New Jersey champion, chosen in March, will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals on April 23-25 in Washington, DC, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

All New Jersey public, charter, private, and parochial high schools, along with home school associations were invited to participate. Participating students were in grades 9-12, or the age/grade equivalent.

New Jersey Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. It is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, in collaboration with Writers Theatre of New Jersey, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, and a growing list of local partners. National Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies of the United States.