San Mateo County’s Poetry Out Loud 2024

“No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your story is, there is some poem out there you can connect with.”

Poetry Out Loud (POL) gives high school students the confidence to make themselves heard, using one of the most powerful tools at their disposal—poetry. It encourages teens to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

We invite educators, youth organization leaders, and high school students to be part of San Mateo County’s Poetry Out Loud 2024 Program. Teens build public speaking skills and self-confidence, while learning about literary history and contemporary life through poetry.

To make the process fun and easy for teachers and youth leaders who want to include POL in their curriculum or programming, digital resources are available:

Although the program is meant to have competitions by class and by school, to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion, teachers may also mentor individual students and recommend them to the county competition. 

School/organizational champions will be mentored by local Poet Laureates and poetry teachers preparing them to effectively compete at the county, state and national levels if selected.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program in partnership with the NEA, the Poetry Foundation, and each state’s arts agency. Important dates:

  • January 10, 2024 – Last day to sign up
  • January 2024 – Mentoring sessions for teens via  Zoom
  • February 8, 2024 – San Mateo County Finals - Signup to watch the finals online 6:00PM - 8:00PM
  • March 17 - 18, 2024 – State Finals Competition in-person in Sacramento
  • April 30 - May 2, 2024 – National Finals in-person in Washington, DC


Mara Grimes
OAC Admin-Manager