projects we love

April 11, 2018

Here’s a heartwarming project that came by way of a forwarded email.

At Oakton Elementary, in Oakton, Virginia (Fairfax County), Andrew Relihan’s 6th-grade class has opened a Poem Store. Inspired by a visit to Bellingham and the typewriter performance work of Erica Reed and Natalie Fedak, Mr. Relihan’s class invites people to suggest a topic, provide a mailing or email address, and then “Pick your price: Once you have thoroughly enjoyed your custom made poem we ask you to pay what it was worth to you (not to exceed $5).” They created a Google form for the orders and a dedicated page for payments.

Andrew Relihan explains: “The funds collected from our Poem Store will go toward buying the materials needed to build a middle school for the community of Tres Reyes in Honduras. The community’s school currently only has room for students up to 6th grade and will give those students a chance to continue their education! This effort will be carried out by Students Helping Honduras and the One Thousand School initiative.” Relihan spent a week last summer helping bring La Escuela Yolanda Melindez in Santa Rita one step closer to its completion (officially opened January 2018), working alongside members of the community, both young and old, stacking bricks, mixing cement, and sharing stories and meals with each other.

In an email received yesterday, Mr. Relihan says, Monday “was the first day that students worked on ‘filling orders.’ They were a little overwhelmed at the prospect of writing for an actual audience, but it was clear that they were motivated to put their best work down on paper. They will have the rest of the week to work on filling orders during our Language Arts block, and I’d imagine that a few students would be motivated to continue filling orders in their free time (assuming we have anyone who comes to the table late).”

To support this wonderful National Poetry Month project, click on the Google form link and name your topic!

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NPM on SJI

April 3, 2018

The Land Bank and San Juan Island National Historical Park, along with students from Stillpoint School and Spring Street International School, celebrate the “Year of the Bird” for National Poetry Month. Between April 1 and April 30, the Land Bank’s Westside Lake trail loop at Limekiln Preserve will feature bird-inspired poems written by students ages 5-13.

call for student poems

March 10, 2018

Portland, Oregon, based Honoring Our Rivers invites student (kindergarten through college!) submissions of original writing, art, and photography for the annual Pacific Northwest Rivers anthology.

The submission deadline is EARTH DAY, April 22, 2018.

The subject matter is Pacific Northwest rivers: “anything relating to your watershed” including oceans, animals, human interaction, forests, etc. “We especially love to see students express their personal connection to rivers.” Within the anthology, there is also a themed section: Celebrating the tribes of the Pacific Northwest and their ancestral and present-day relationships to rivers.

Read the complete submission guidelines here.

A conservation nonprofit, Honoring Our Rivers encourages stewardship of river watersheds and nurtures the next generation of civic and conservation leaders by engaging the creative capacities of youth. Learn more here.

call for youth poets

January 27, 2018

The Whatcom County Library System invites submissions from teens in grades 6-12 for inclusion in A Forest of Words 2018, a teen poetry anthology, which will be distributed to area schools and libraries.

The entry deadline is Thursday, March 1, 2018. See the guidelines and submission form at WCLS.

Sudden Thoughts*

November 5, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Aysha Burney, 11th Grade

She was like a Sour Patch Kid
Sour without sleep, then sweet
So innocent, and loving
Shaped like a plumb who
Sat in the chair from
Sunday to Monday
Sadness appeared when
She left my life
Soaring in the sad grey sky
Say goodbye to the love of my life
                         Rest in peace, Grandma

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Aysha Burney. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Dear Rain*

October 22, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Sterling C.H. Bemment, 3rd Grade

Dear Rain,
You probably
don’t
remember me
The vast
Ocean
of sand
that is scorching hot
I would trade
all the animals
and all the plants
just for you
to visit me
And quench my thirst
And stop me longing for you
From, the Desert

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Sterling C.H. Bemment. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Let them be Cars*

October 15, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Mason Mills, 9th Grade

Let them be cars,
Always fueled, fixed, loved,
But harnessed to the road.

I’d rather be submarine,
Cruising underwater like a shark,
Exploring the deepest depths of the ocean.

To have shattered theories,
To dive and search,
To be carried among the waves,
Currents moving me all around the world.

I’d rather be unseen,
Unknown by all,
Than to be a shiny new car,
Made in a factory,
Praised by all,
And driven by greedy hands.

If I could be alone, strong and free,
I’d rather be a submarine.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Mason Mills. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

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