Students from eight area high schools will compete at the Southwest Missouri Regional "Poetry Out Loud" Recitation Competition on Tuesday, February 16th at 6.30 p.m. at The Creamery Arts Center in Jordan Valley Park. The public is invited to attend this free event sponsored and hosted by The Springfield Regional Arts Council. In addition to students from Springfield Kickapoo and Central High Schools, students will be competing from Branson, Republic, Lutie, Lakeland, Waynesville and Stockton. The winning student at this regional event will advance to the state level where each state winner receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington DC to compete at the National Finals, as well as a $500 stipend for their schools for the purchase of poetry books. In addition to the scholarship awards and school stipends given at the national competition, the national champion will receive a $20,000 college scholarship award. The Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition is a collaboration of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Association of Community Arts Agencies, the Poetry Foundation, and the Springfield Regional Arts Council. Contact the Arts Council at 862-ARTS (2787) or visit www.springfieldarts.org for more information.