RIDGWAY — The Elk County Council on the Arts has announced a regional Poetry Out Loud competition will be held at the Elk County Council on the Arts Gallery, 237 Main St., Ridgway, at 7 p.m. Thursday. The event is free and open to the public.

Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Three students from two schools in the five-county region ECCOTA represents will compete. The winner from this event will head to the state finals in Harrisburg in March. The state final winners will compete for the national championship in Washington, D.C., in April.

The participating students have chosen three poems to memorize for recitation from a catalog of approximately 800. Poetry Out Loud is a free program offered to every high school student in Pennsylvania. The program encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud visit PoetryOutLoud.org. For more event information contact ECCOTA (814) 772-7051 or visit ECCOTA.com.

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