Had a great visit with the teachers and students at TCIS. Extra special thanks to Connie and Sungmee our librarian and Chantal queen of the High School English department. We spent three days on the campus working with grades K through 12. Once when I was taking a break I even got roped into reading a picture book to an elementary class visiting the library.
During our residency we had a family literacy night where Sara and I did some poems for the students and their parents. We really like to have these evening gatherings when we visit a school because it gives us a chance to let the parents know what a couple poets are doing visiting their students. It gives us the opportunity to show the people paying tuition how bringing in a couple teaching artists is a good investment. We get to demonstrate how writing and performing poetry in the classroom has great practical benefits for all their kid’s communication skills. Of course we all have fun and many more times than not – we get a parent to come up on stage and recite a piece that they had memorized from their school days.
Connie warming up the crowd before the start of our Family Literacy Night.
Appreciative audience members.
A couple boys take to the mic to read a poem they wrote in the car on the way to the event (get that paper down from in front of your faces!)
A parent reciting a Robert Service poem.
Sara leads some ankle biters through a poem they wrote about soccer.
A very special part of this school visit was the fact that we stayed with a family in their home rather than a hotel room. This is always a daunting proposition because you never know what is going to happen. Well – if anyone had tried to tell us how welcoming and gracious the Choi family was going to be we would have thought we were being sold a bridge.
It was so nice to be a part of a family in the middle of this long road trip and as much as all the dinners out are special to us – that one meal before the Literacy night of home made spaghetti with sauce out of a jar and the kids around the table is probably the one I will remember most. Thanks TCIS and extra super duper thanks to the Choi family.