In The Know With PYO April 2015

March 2015 – Women’s History Month

Informational & Cultural Events

Carnival Fundraiser For Little River Community Center
Durham County Memorial Stadium
March 27, 2015 – April 05, 2015 (Recurring Daily)

“Absolute Green” Art Exhibit
The Scrap Exchange
March 20, 2015 – April 11, 2015 (Recurring Daily)
As a self-taught, recycled visual artist, Nghi Vollmer breathes new life to disposable paper materials to present Absolute Green, a marriage of creativity and sustainability.

NCCU Vs. Bethune-Cookman University (Men’s Baseball)
Historic Durham Athletic Park
April 11, 2015 – April 12, 2015 (Recurring Daily)

Durham Symphony Music From The Movies
Riverside High School – (919) 491-6576
April 19, 2015 – April 19, 2015
A theatrical afternoon of music, featuring ever-entertaining music from John Williams, and a Tchaikovsky selection, performed by the winner of the annual Young Artist Concerto Competition.

The Importance of Poetry in School

By Suzi Parker,

Suzi Parker is a regular contributor to TakePart. Her work also appears in The Christian Science Monitor and Reuters. In classrooms across the country, Emily Southerton witnesses the magic of poetry and its ability to transform kids.

As Teach for America’s digital initiative specialist, Southerton is part of the organization’s Poet Warriors Project, a nationwide program that helps kids write and publish poetry on tough issues they face, such as poverty, gangs, and peer pressure. The idea is to generate positive changes in their lives. More than 50 classrooms around the country, and more than 2,500 students, have written for it.

“Poetry ignites students to think about what it’s like to share their opinion, be heard, and make a difference in their world,” Southerton said. “Students can let go of traditional writing rules with poetry. I tell the kids the most important thing about poetry is that people feel differently after reading it.”

For centuries, poetry has enlightened students in classrooms and, yes, occasionally bored them to tears. In 1996, the Academy of American Poets inaugurated National Poetry Month; it’s held in April, “when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture,” according to its website. Literature teacher Andrew Simmons lamented, in a recent story for The Atlantic, that many schools no longer teach poetry and that it often gets a bad rap for being boring. He wrote: “In an education landscape that dramatically deemphasizes creative expression in favor of expository writing and prioritizes the analysis of non-literary texts, high school literature teachers have to negotiate between their preferences and the way the wind is blowing. That sometimes means sacrifice, and poetry is often the first head to roll.”

Simmons, however, said that teachers shouldn’t shy away from poetry because it can help students become more versed in writing and literature. He’s not alone. Throughout the country, teachers and academics say that poetry should be a curriculum priority in English classes.

“Writing poetry remains one of the best tools we have for knowing what we think and what we really feel,” said Anna Marie Hong, a published poet and a visiting writer at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. “Writing provides a way for us to process experience, which is often difficult for young adults, to understand it better, to connect our lives with the experiences of others, and to change events through this new understanding.”

Schools and programs are striving to expose students in every grade to poetry and not just during the month of April.

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