Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. The program’s National Recitation Contest, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, begins at the classroom level. Classroom winners advance to a schoolwide competition, then to regional and state competitions, and ultimately to the National Finals. States hold their competitions in mid-March; the National Finals are held between April 23 and 25, 2018, at George Washington University. Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, plus $200 for his or her school. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.
Deadlines: Vary by state; states hold their competitions by mid-March. Following the state finals, the National Finals will be held in Washington, DC, April 23–25, 2018.
At the beginning of February 2019, the podcast “Binge Mode” concluded its eight-month run of 70 episodes discussing every chapter of the seven books in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Students can jump on their brooms and explore all the episodes of the Harry Potter podcast on the Binge Mode website or in iTunes.
Alive Studios’ Rugs alive are colorful classroom rugs that come to life with the freeRugs alive app for iOS and Android devices. Students can learn about the world’s animal habitats, explore 26 animals in 3D, take fun photos with their favorite animal, brush up on uppercase and lowercase letters, and more.
The Global OnenessProject has created an Empathy Collection of 15 stories and lessonplans to foster empathy in the classroom. Through the multimedia stories, students meet individuals from different backgrounds and visit communities in different geographic locations facing challenging global issues.