Over 70% of my students live in poverty. Homelessness is sadly too common. One of the biggest issues associated with poverty is absenteeism. Many of my students bare the onus for getting themselves up, ready, and out the door. If they miss the bus, no other transportation is available. Their enthusiasm for learning motivates and determines why these children put forth effort to maintain their attendance.
My students are enthusiastic learners who strive to be at school because of learning opportunities that introduce them to the world beyond what they see in their daily lives.
I relish seeing how socially interactive experiences help shape and expand my students' thinking. My students are growing emotionally as well as academically to become life-long learners with skills that will enable them to break out of the poverty cycle.
This grant request is for a poetry writing workshop for 87 third-grade students led by Laura Sedlacek. Ms. Sedlacek has published several poetry books and was a 2018 Thomas Wolfe nominee for one of her novels. Currently residing within the school’s district, she has written and published a collection of poems about places that students might typically take for granted such as an old building, a local restaurant, a grocery list, or an ordinary person.
Novelist and poet, Laura Sedlacek offers a unique opportunity for our third-grade students to learn about and poetically express their feelings about the community in which they live.
In addition to Ms. Sedlacek reading her poems and discussing her writing style and inspirations, each student will have in hand one of her poetry books from which to read about local inspirations. A goal of this poetry workshop is to help students develop their written voice while developing deeper knowledge about and appreciation for their community.
The poetry books that comes with this workshop will be used for follow-up and cross-curricula activities. One activity planned is a walking field trip to visit places Ms. Sedlacek wrote about. During this trip, students will seek out things in their community they feel inspired to write about and illustrate. Our students will also be sharing their community poems and illustrations with young students attending school in Malawi, Africa. Arrangements are in place for students from the two countries to exchange information about their schools and communities.
Laura Sedlacek's poetry workshop is the foundation on which our many economically disadvantages students will build connections within and outside of the community they live.
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