CalPoets in Schools

Photos from the April 14, 2019 event with students from Adams Elementary and Peabody Charter School reading their poetry.

The Squire Foundation has partnered with California Poets in the Schools (CalPoets) to fund classes and workshops by professional poets and teachers in Adams, Peabody and Hollister Elementary Schools in Santa Barbara County.

California Poets in the Schools is an artist-in-residence program that places trained poet-teachers in the classroom once a week, usually for a total of six weeks. During that hour in the classroom you can expect the poet-teacher to bring a written lesson built on the work of poets both historic and contemporary. Every week, an aspect of poetry is explored: Figurative language (metaphor, simile, personification), formal aspects such as shaping a poem (stanzas, pantoums, etc.) and, most importantly, subject matter that elicits an emotional and heartfelt response in the writer. All of this is taught in a totally positive, supportive way that frees up all students to engage in self expression. Every week the poet-teacher reads the student poems, comments on them, and types up a few to read and discuss with the entire class. This method allows students reading their poem to hone oral presentation skills and reinforces the poetry writing skills for the other members of the class. Lesson plans vary greatly depending on the grade level.

Made possible by a generous donation from the Ida Sharpe Foundation.