I have noticed that if you go into any bookstores that sell children’s books, the poetry section is quite thin. In some stores, children’s poetry books occupy one shelf. You will usually find something by Robert Louis Stevenson (commonly in an anthology) or something by Shel Silverstein.
CLiF’s 64 talented and accomplished presenters are a big part of what makes CLiF special. We send these amazing VT and NH authors, illustrators, poets, graphic novelists, and storytellers to places where low-income, at-risk, and rural kids spend time in VT and NH.
April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poetry in all its forms. Many schools and programs take advantage of this month to launch poetry units and special events. Towns such as Montpelier, VT celebrate with Poem City, a city-wide initiative that posts poetry all over public spaces and celebrates poets with readings and events.
It should come as no surprise that the staff at CLiF – where our mission is to nurture a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural children in New Hampshire and Vermont – loves to read! Here’s what we’ve been reading this summer.
At CLiF, much of our work occurs behind the scenes. We spend many hours scheduling events, organizing logistics, communicating with coordinators who are on the ground in various communities throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. While we love what we do, nothing compares to hanging up the phone, logging off our email, and stepping out from behind our desks to get face-to-face with the communities, families, and children we serve.
This weekend, while many people placed bets on the Super Bowl, I jotted down my predictions for the Newbery Award, one of the most celebrated and notable awards in children’s literature. Every year I make my guesses, and I am almost always surprised.
On May 10, Meredith and I went to Kids Day in Burlington, Vermont’s Battery Park. Hundreds of kids (and quite a few parents) stopped by our booth to write poems using magnetic poetry and their imaginations. Everyone who wrote a poem got to choose a book to take home.
I could start by telling you about the beautiful view of Lake Champlain from our corner table. I could then tell you about the endless performances, exhibits, and activities for kids taking place all day.
I could tell you about the throngs of children – of all ages – gathered around our table eagerly awaiting a turn with the magnetic poetry…or about the looks on their faces when they won prizes – like new books (everyone who participated won a prize).
Photo credit: http://www.blog.thehoya.com/i-got-a-pocket-got-a-pocket-full-of-poems/
That’s right. Find your favorite poem (even one you wrote), scribble it on a piece of paper, and put it in your pocket when you get dressed tomorrow morning.
Thursday, April 18 is national Poem in Your Pocket Day, and we’d love for you to join us as we celebrate here at the CLiF office.