NYC Councilman Brad Lander
Kids — 12 and 13 years old — pour their guts onto paper in verse. They spend weeks furiously writing, revising, and coaching each other, and revising again. When they are done, they stand alone in front of their peers and recite poetry, using voice and gesture to bring their words to life.
This may sound like an English teacher’s pipe dream, but it is becoming a common experience in classrooms across the country. In lower-income neighborhoods in cities like New York and Chicago, students are competing with words and then settling in for discussions of metaphor, assonance, consonance, and allusion.
Slam poetry, a blend of literature and performance that culminates in live competitions called slams, is transforming these students from reluctant, shy, or diffident learners into passionate artists. It is helping teachers not just teach writing but also build confidence. For more information about “Our youth are slamming” literacy program and how this can be implemented in your school, please contact us via email or call: Curtis Harris, Executive Director at 516-670-4868.
“No more silent voices”- Green Earth Poets Cafe announced today the establishment of “No more silent voices”, a creative writing poetry workshops accessible to young people who are incarcerated or detained. In these workshops, young people learn new tools for coping with stress, moving past trauma, and learning to take responsibility for their actions and their emotions.
No more silent voices seeks to establish a productive forum for self-expression for teens and young adults in the alternative and transitional environments where our workshops take place also.
For more information about “No more silent voices” or for information to get involved contact Curtis Harris, Executive Director -Green Earth Poets Cafe, 516-670-4868 or via email :firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rollout of “No more silent voices” is expected by June, 2014.
Cultivating a Love of Reading Is a Gift That Will Last Forever
Teaching children to treasure books and to love reading is a gift that parents and teachers give that students will take with them throughout the rest of their lives. March 3 is Read Across America Day. It’s a day to celebrate books and the joy of reading. Check out the list of activities you can use in your classroom. We also think the 50 States Booklist is pretty cool. It’s a list of books written about each state or by authors living in that state.
One More Thing
The PBS KIDS website has announced a Writers Contest for Kids. The contest is open to children in kindergarten, first, second and third grades and encourages them to celebrate their creativity while building literacy skills by writing and illustrating their own stories. Check out contest details and help your students enter submissions to their local PBS stations.