SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Sixteen high school students from around Illinois will compete for the state championship in an annual poetry performance contest.
The final round of "Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest" will be March 14 in Springfield. It is sponsored by the Illinois Arts Council.
Beginning with 6,800 students from 62 high schools, the contest is designed to encourage teenagers to learn great poetry through memorization and performance.
The state champ will win $200 and an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in April for the national contest. The winner's school will get $500 to buy poetry books.
The runner-up will receive $100 with $200 going to the contestant's school library.
At the national round, students will compete for $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends.
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