Note: This article was written by Kathy Lawrence. Thank you to Lawrence, high school poetry club adviser and program specialist for libraries at Cleveland Heights - University Heights Schools, for sharing this article and photos with Cleveland Heights Patch. Check out photos from the event above.
, along with six other area high schools, has been selected to partner with the Playhouse Square Foundation for events, activities and workshops involving slam poetry.
This partnership provides our students with poet mentors who attend and facilitate our poetry club meetings, workshops for students and staff, and programs that brought in professional poets and writing experts.
In addition, the cost for bus transportation to and from all of these events is also provided by the foundation. Heights High Principal James Reed, the high school library, and have provided additional support and expertise for this unique opportunity.
The culminating event, although the students will continue meet in the monthly club, was an all-school Poetry Slam that rocked the high school library on March 30. All participants were rewarded with a writing journal and pizza.
The winner, sophomore, Kala James, earned a generous gift certificate to , and a spot in the finals of the Playhouse Square Slam U competition. If Kala places in the finals of the Slam U competition, she will have earned a place on the “Cleveland Team," which goes to San Francisco for the International Brave New Voices Poetry competition this summer.
This club, and its partnership with Playhouse Square, has provided a growing number of our high school’s most creative students with an opportunity to share some profound and personal thoughts in a supportive forum.
We have a strong group of students poets emerging from our middle school, thanks to active clubs in the middle school libraries. The additional instruction and fun programming that Playhouse Square provides has upped everybody’s game. We are very grateful to have been included in this program.