This year's event was scheduled during my graduate course on developing middle and high school readers, so I told colleagues, Carol Ann and Elizabeth, that I would make an evening of the event to model literacy-in-action for the course. They did service-learning by signing in winners, escorting families to seats, handing out certificates, and guiding K-8 writers across the stage.
I know it is biased, but I love the K-2 readers most, especially the enthusiastic ones who take the Mic with joy and happiness. One young man, Brice, entered the doors to the Quick Center and announced to all that he beat his brother for this contest and he was very proud. He was ready to read the second he walked in and seemed to bounce from person to person with wonder, "Are you the one who wants to hear my poem?". Another young girl skipped to the Mic, read her wonderful poem, and skipped away. It was so impressive to see the bravery of these kids as they lent their voice to the evening's festivity and occasion.
CWP-Fairfield simply works behind the scenes making certificates, providing support and occasionally doing workshops in schools. It is the vision of the English Department and the instruction of classroom teachers, however, who make this possible. Winners always represent the diversity of the county - which is beautiful and necessary to see in the 21st century. In total, 60 young people were recognized for their poetry.
All winners are also offered a $50 scholarship toward attending a Young Adult Literacy Lab in the summer of 2017, should they choose come.
But now it's time to teach a turbo before Faculty Salary Committee, the MLK dinner, and the MLK convocation!
I will carry their words in my heart all day.