| Coordinator of Instructional Technology for Clovis Municipal Schools, Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy writes an education column, published weekly by the Eastern New Mexico News and featured on www.clovis-schools.org.
POETRY IN APRIL
by Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy
April 26, 2018
The month of April is the month of poetry. Back in 1996 the Academy of American Poets designated April as National Poetry Month. Their website states that National Poetry Month has become a widely celebrated event around the world, showcased by not only schools, but also in libraries, booksellers, and publishers.
Poetry has been celebrated across our district this past month, at all grade levels, in a number of ways; from students memorizing and reciting poetry, to teachers sharing different types of poetry, to parents and community members coming onto school campuses to read poetry with students.
One definition of a “poem” is “a piece of writing that partakes of the nature of both speech and song that is nearly always rhythmical, usually metaphorical...” Perhaps this is why poetry – like music – resonates with every culture as well as people of all ages.
The reading and writing of poetry often resonates with adolescents as other forms of writing do not. Students in our middle school Digital Storytelling classes generate some amazing verse, thought-provoking and profound. The CHS Library, along with other school sites, celebrates a “Poem in Your Pocket,” conceived by the Academy of American Poets. The idea is to carry poems in your “pocket“ (maybe a real pocket, maybe construction paper or fabric swatches) and share with others throughout the day. The poems might be read together and different aspects discussed.
A special event associated with the season of poetry is the “Poesie en el Llano Estacado” poetry competition, coordinated by our Federal Programs Family Services Lead Specialist, Sylvia Montaño, who is also the ENLACE Eastern Region Coordinator. Montaño, who described the event: “This is the fifth year we’ve had on our own competition, open to all schools for all students, first grade through fifth grade.
I happened to sit in on the tryouts for the first through third graders at La Casita. Students arrived by grade level, about ten students in the first group. The first graders were adorable, all dressed in Sunday best. When their name was called, each marched smartly up to the microphone and, after identifying themselves, launched into reciting their memorized poems. Noteworthy were not only parents who’d come to support their child, but also the fellow students who sat quietly and respectfully as each moved up to have their turn.
Regardless of who placed in the competition, they were all winners in the delightful presentations of their poems.