Bus to display poems by Liberty City students unveiled

MIAMI (WSVN) - “Poetry in motion” is taking on a whole new meaning in Miami for the month of April, and it’s thanks to the creative minds of some elementary school students.

On Monday, Miami-Dade Transit unveiled a unique city bus covered in the poems of Liberty City elementary school students.

“This is a pretty cool thing,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “I walked up on it, and one of our buses is wrapped in poems that were written by third, fourth and fifth graders.”

The poems are the works of 11 students from elementary schools in Liberty City.

“Praise the sky above me and praise my favorite color,” said one student, reading their poem.

O, Miami, an advocacy group dedicated to encouraging the literary arts, sponsored the poetry competition.

“Poetry and buses share something in common,” said P. Scott Cunningham, the founder of O, Miami, “which is, I think they are both vehicles to connect people.”

The Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works provided the bus. “We hope this bus brightens up everybody’s day and encourages everyone to give transit a try,” said Alice Bravo, director of the department.

“I see yellow flowers growing from the ground, daisy and dandelions, and pieces of color in between the weeds, dancing with the air. It makes me feel happy, the pretty things I see,” another student said, reading from her poem.

Writing poetry also offers an oasis to children who may have been exposed to the worst society has to offer, Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

“A lot of these kids come from poverty. They live in violent communities,” Carvalho said. “This offers them a respite from troubled conditions out there. Here they can put their words and their emotions on paper through words rather than fists and guns.”

“If you are a tree, then I am oxygen. If you are chocolate, then I am a spoon,” another student said, reciting her poem.

Eleven budding young poets proved to be the cream that rose to the top of this year’s contest.

“When I see good works from students, I know that they are in the right place,” said Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, a county schools board member. “They are readers, writers, speakers.”

“It sounds like an ocean sinking down to the bottom of the ocean,” another student read from his poem. “It smells like lemon cake from the oven.”

If you miss the bright yellow bus, don’t worry — you won’t miss the poetry experience. All you have to do is download the Miami-Dade Transit Tracker app.

“We’re going to download and include a new poem every week,” Bravo said, “so if you look at the new app, check it every week. You’ll see new poems.”

The poems will also appear on the Colony Theater marquee, supermarket conveyor belts and gas station pumps.

The poetry bus rolls out April 1.

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