BHS Poetry

BY Maureen E Leveroni, Brooke Styche & Laura Welch

Barnstable High School

Project Description
BHS Poetry was established in 2008 to provide a creative venue for Barnstable High School’s community of writers. We are currently unfunded, except through grants. In the 2008-2009 school year, several English teachers promoted all-school participation in both Poetry Out Loud and Poetry Slam as the major BHS Poetry events. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partnered with state arts agencies of the United States to support Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Poetry Slam is the competitive art of performance poetry. It puts dual emphasis on writing and performance, encouraging poets to focus on what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. This is, after all, our goal as English teachers!

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
We hope to continue with the love of poetry and the sense of community that these events have engendered for the last twelve years.

Benefit to the students and the school
Providing a safe and nurturing place for students to share the things that matter to them. Poetry Out Loud and Poetry Slam are events where students’ voices can be heard.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
Preparation for Poetry Out Loud begins in November with classroom competitions and culminates with the BHS Poetry Out Loud school competition in January. The winner of the school competition then prepares for the regionals in Yarmouth the first weekend in March and possibly the states, the weekend following regionals. Meanwhile, teachers and students will become familiar with slam poetry and the process involved in implementing classroom slams. Students will write and perform an original poem that appeals to an audience of their peers and teachers. The winners of classroom competitions will move on to the school competition in April.