This past Thursday evening, thanks to the leadership of two teachers and a book store owner, as well as with the help of a number of other individuals, Cleveland Elementary was home to Words in the Woods, a celebration of poetry.
Thank you Mme Santarosa and Mme Berry for inspiring our young poets, and this old one too. Thanks to Deb from 32 Books for her invaluable contributions to this evening. We appreciate the hours and hours of extra effort you all made to make this a special evening.
The evening was magical. The gym was transformed into a forest. Trees, large mushrooms, ferns, a couple of deer and some birds hiding in the foliage drew us into their world, where children (and adults) were invited to create poetry on river rocks, on clotheslines, on quilts and on magnetic boards. Our fishing pond for poems was a hit with the little ones, as was being able to write their poems outside with sidewalk chalk.
The most magical part of the evening for me was watching the students recite poems that they had written or ones they wanted to share. Thank you to the following students who helped to create the magic:
Nika (grade 1), Brennan (grade 4), Maddi (grade 3), Tessa (grade 3), Diba (grade 6), Cameron (grade 6), Sydney (grade 6), Oliver (grade 6), Zozia (grade 5), Robyn (grade 5), Jennifer (grade 5), Dreya (grade 3), Hayden (grade 1), Cassandra (grade 6), Ben (grade 6), Grace (grade 6), Murray (grade 1), Mone (grade 6), Alyssa (grade 6), Tianna (grade 6), Cierra (grade 5), Staffania (grade 5), Nicole (grade 5), Claire (grade 4), Kobi (grade 6) and Simon (grade 5).
They did an outstanding job speaking in front of over 300 people.
We also had a guest from the Squamish Nation, a former student share a slam poem, a father of one of our students, a singer/songwriter perform a couple of songs, and a few adults read what they have written. Thanks to Stewart Gonzales (Aboriginal Drummer), Andrew Warner (Handsworth student), Chris Mizzoni (father and author), (Jody Quinne (singer/songwriter), Dhana Musil (creative writer), and Charles Van Sandwyk (artist and writer). I also read a poem, and will include it at the end of this post.
Thanks to Mel and the Cleveland parents. We are so fortunate to be partners with such a supportive and encouraging PAC at Cleveland. Together, the parents, staff and students work to create a fantastic school culture, and it is a joy to be part of this team.
Thanks as well to the parents who lent us items (kiddie pools) for our forest. Maple Leaf Gardens lent us some ferns for our forest. Thanks Loni.
Thanks as well to everyone who came along and supported this wonderful evening. Our wonderful crepe makers (former teachers from Clevleand) fed the crowd. The number of students and adults who volunteered their time to make this event a success is mind boggling. Again, we are so fortunate to be part of such a wonderful community.
Please visit 32 Books in the village.
Walk the Streets
By Doug Beveridge
In parts of the city people suffer.
My fancy hotel serves as a buffer.
From men of the streets who beg for some change,
From me every time I come within range.
Walk the streets. Stare straight ahead.
You may not see those less fed.
They live in the gutters. Sleep on the streets.
Survival for them is a tremendous feat.
Some are aggressive. Some are quite calm.
They think you are rich and beg you for alms.
You shake your head and keep on walking.
Can’t you hear your conscience talking?
You’re just one man. What can you do?
A few spare coins won’t see them through.
To help these poor souls would feel great,
But perhaps it should be left up to fate.
Is it really my calling to feed the poor?
Perhaps it is not, but could I do more?
Once in a while, I could give just a bit.
Some of my change. Do I need all of it?