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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Power of Poetry at Brightwood, Part VIII: The final steps

This fall, DC SCORES Digital Media Intern Paris Volpe is attending the after-school poetry sessions at Brightwood Education Campus (Elementary School) to observe how the Panthers discover "The Power of Poetry." Each week, Paris is writing about the curriculum and lesson plans of the program. Follow as she documents the progression of the students’ self-expression and writing techniques. You can also follow Paris' experiences on Twitter by following @DCSCORESinterns and view photos on Flickr.


Written by Paris Volpe 
Digital Media Intern

Twas the night before The Poetry Slam!, when all through the halls
The students were practicing, standing strong and tall
Their journals were stacked, on the desks with care,
Waiting for tomorrow with poems to share

The children are excited and ready to go,
Tomorrow’s the day! It’ll be quite the show.
DC SCORES coaches and teachers alike,
Will settle their brains and hand over the mic.

I watch as the Brightwood Panthers take the stage for their final rehearsal. They have made much progress since last week.

Although the Panthers have practiced multiple times, they haven’t lost their excitement. And even though the students have heard the individual poem many times, they still watch intently when Betelihem G., age 10, takes the stage.

“I still well up hearing her poem,” Coach Rosenberg says.

Betelihem wrote a very personal poem to perform at today’s Poetry Slam!. She worked closely with Coach Nelson and Rosenberg from the beginning of the season.

“I can’t wait for everyone to hear it, especially since it will be a surprise,” Betelihem says.

“Shoutout to Betelihem and her poem,” says Makensie T., age 8, after rehearsal. “I just think it’s fantastic.”

All of the Panthers have continuously supported each other on this journey. Even those who like to goof around are in it to win it. Not only are coaches instructing, but now students are teaching one another.

In between practice rounds, students chatter about where they should stand, where to look, how to annunciate. They want to be sure to “wow” the audience.

“Can you hear us from the back of the room?” Fatiya H., age 10, asks me. The answer is yes! Yes, I can. This is important, because at the Slam!, students’ voices will need to reach the back of the auditorium (with the help of a microphone, of course).

The Westside Poetry Slam! is TODAY, Dec. 3, at 5pm at Columbia Heights Education Campus. Come see Brightwood (and 19 other schools) in action. The Panthers will show you what they’ve got!


Westside DC SCORES Poetry Slam!
  • WHEN: Tonight, Dec. 3, 5-8pm (come anytime)
  • WHERE: Columbia Heights Education Campus
  • WHAT: The first night of DC SCORES' premier and culminating event of the fall season. Watch 20 schools perform their original works of self-expression on stage. More info HERE
Watch YouTube videos of past Poetry Slam! performances HERE.


Related posts
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII

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