Vernon Students Enjoy Poetry in Motion
In her first year as the new Library Media Specialist for the James H. Vernon School, Librarian Christine Parente has already made a big difference and is a positive influence on the students. Ms. Parente took the initiative to research and arrange for the Poetry Alive! Program to travel from North Carolina to East Norwich to educate the sixth graders.
Ms. Parente said, “I wanted a program to kick off National Poetry Month in April. Poetry Alive! presents poetry as exciting and interactive, with high-energy performers and audience participation. It is an opportunity for students to be exposed to poetry in a way that engages and entertains. The follow-up workshops focus on public speaking and stage presence, as well as writing and performing poetry.”
Poetry Alive!® focuses on critical thinking activities, in-depth analysis, and communication skills. It partners with educators to prepare students to thrive in the interconnected and diverse world community. Their interactive workshops provide students with a more in-depth exploration of literary analysis, and writing and speaking skills in an entertaining and inspiring way.
The day started with a spirited and lively assembly in which actors Ashley and Skylar entertained and involved the students. After the assembly the two actors worked with the sixth grade classes individually.
The kids were told that Public Speaking is the number one biggest fear for most people. Number two is death. That means that more people would rather be in the box than have to give the eulogy.
The Poetry Alive! actors helped the students understand and develop the four major techniques to acting or speaking in front of groups of people. They stressed the importance of having a confident stance, facing the audience, using your space to physically communicate with people in the back rows, and the essential acting tool of learning to project your voice by using your deep breath so that you are loud enough to be heard.
While this learning was going on at Vernon, the first grade classes at the Theodore Roosevelt School were finishing their Poetry Unit with celebrations of student learning and writing.