Passion for Poetry

WSVN — Poetry isn’t just about your grandmother’s book of sonnets anymore! Poetry clubs are popping up all over South Florida schools and students say it’s helping them speak out! 7’s Lynn Martinez shows us in today’s Parent to Parent.

From the spoken word this isn’t what most have in mind when they hear ‘Poetry Club.’

Jason Taylor Foundation Darius Daughtry: “It’s not necessarily the archaic ideas that’s in a dusty old book on the shelf.”

Thanks to a program called the bluapple Poetry Network students at Flanagan High school are learning how to express their opinions through poetry.

Flanagan High School Teacher Kristy Modia: “These are the type of kids that they just want to speak what’s on their mind.”

Tackling tough topics like racism, eating disorders, no subject is considered too sensitive.

English teacher Kristy Modia says the club provides students a safe place to express themselves.

Kristy Modia: “From day one we teach that you have to respect, you don’t have to agree, but you have to respect.”

Kristy says students have to stand up in front of their peers and share their innermost thoughts.

“It’s one thing to read somebody else’s work but when you actually read your own, you’re opening up your heart.”

They also learn how to give and take constructive criticism, because they have to ask for feedback after presenting.

Kristy Modia: “You’re opening yourself up to, ‘I liked it’ or ‘I didn’t like it.'”

Seventeen-year old Victoria says it took her a while to feel comfortable in front of the group but now has no trouble speaking her mind.

Victoria Nilo: “That’s pretty much what poetry club has done for me is taught me that it’s OK to speak up even when people expect you not to.”

Alex, a senior, says poetry club forces people to open up and it can get emotional.

Alex Johnson: “They always say wow, I’m so glad I did that, because feel so much better now.”

Most importantly, these students now know what they say actually means something.

Victoria Nilo: “When they realize my opinion is being heard and then they just walk out feeling like OK maybe I made a difference.”

Lynn Martinez: The bluapple Poetry Network is sponsored by the Jason Taylor Foundation and is now in more than 50 schools in Miami-Dade and Broward.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

bluapple Poetry Network

www.bluapplepoetry.org

Jason Taylor Foundation

www.jasontaylorfoundation.com

The Jason Taylor’s bluapple Poetry Network is a winner of a Knight Arts Challenge. If you have an idea of bringing community together with the arts, please visit:

www.knightarts.org