Champions from area high schools will compete in the regional competition of Poetry Out Loud, a national contest co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the NEA which encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Two winners from next Thursday's regional competition will go on to compete at the state level on March 8; the Illinois state winner will travel to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals April 28-30, in Washington, DC. The public is free to attend the event, so please feel free to bring guests. Witness students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The following schools will participate: Chicago High School for Agricultural Science, Mather High School, Perspectives – Rodney D. Joslin Campus, Taft High School, Muchin College Prep (Noble Network), University of Chicago Lab School, Marine Math and Science Academy and Ida Crown Jewish Academy. More information, including the anthology of poetry that students select their recitations from, is available at www.poetryoutloud.org.