Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Special Interest: Education panels @ Split This Rock 2014

To help you plan your festival schedule, we broke down panels, workshops, and group readings by special interest. Check out those dealing with Education below!


    Thursday 3/27:

11:30am-1pm – Charles Sumner School, Rm 101
Using Art and Poetry Created by Children and Teens in Wartime to Bring Activism for Peace into the Classroom
Merna Ann Hecht

Using examples of children’s visual art and poetry from the Spanish Civil War, Gaza, Vietnam and the former Yugoslavia, this workshop will demonstrate how this artwork is essential to effective social justice education. Poetry created by recently arrived teenage refugees from Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, and Nepal will also be introduced to further the discussion about the urgency of integrating the devastating effects of war and the possibilities for creating peace into public school curricula. Participants will write persona poems in order to experience the ways high school and college students can understand war through direct interaction with artistic expressions about the trauma of violent conflict and forced migrations. Handouts include writing prompts, poetry examples, and an extensive bibliography of children’s and young adult literature, poetry, and visual art related to war and peace.

11:30am-1pm – Human Rights Campaign, Rm 105A
Engaging Youth with Slam & Spoken Word Poetry
Jonathan B. Tucker, Pages Matam, Elizabeth Acevedo

As performance poetry and slam competition grow in popularity, many organizations are using the energetic and entertaining format of slam to engage, inspire, and motivate young students. In this interactive workshop, Split This Rock’s award-winning youth workers will discuss the benefits and challenges of slam poetry programs and facilitate dialogue among participants about best practices and how to reach and motivate more students using poetry.

4-5:30pm – Human Rights Campaign, Rm 105C
Talking Back to the World: Using Poetry and Performance to Speak Out Against Injustice
Renée Watson, Nanya-Akuki Goodrich, Ellen Hagan

In response to newspaper headlines, quotes, and statistics, participants will create a collaborative poem and performance. We will explore how poets have responded to injustice through their writing and will discuss how poetry can give voice to the silenced. Hands-on writing and performance activities will give participants tools to use in the classroom for motivating students to write poetry. How can using performance poetry in the classroom encourage students to explore social issues and use their artistic voice for action?

    Friday 3/28:

4-5:30pm – Human Rights Campaign, Rm 105A
This Assignment Is So Gay: LGBTQ Poets on the Art of Teaching - A Group Reading
Rebecca Lynne Fullan, D. Gilson, Gordon Lang, Kenneth Pobo, Joseph Ross, Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, Daniel Nathan Terry

The classroom remains an essential, and often neglected, front in the struggle against homophobia. Bullying and bashing are widely prevalent in schools and, all too often, result in emotional and physical trauma, and even suicide. This Assignment Is So Gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching (Megan Volpert, editor; Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013) is a groundbreaking anthology of poems by seventy-five queer poet-teachers from around the world that will serve as a pedagogical tool in the movement to help LGBTIQ youth in crisis. Contributors will read selections from the anthology and discuss their own LGBTIQ educational work.

    Saturday 3/29:

9:30-11am -  Human Rights Campaign, Rm 105C
Making it Work: Creating & Sustaining Poetry Development Programs
Kadija George Sesay, Dorothea Smartt

The workshop will incorporate a short reading from facilitators’ own work, highlighting Black British poets whose voices thunder against the mainstream British poetry establishment to proclaim and define a marginalised and often unacknowledged experience of British society and the diasporic heritage of many of its citizens. Participants will bring their project ideas for discussion and issues for problem-solving. Participants will be asked to be actively involved, listening to each other and sharing ideas, experiences, and resources. This workshop will offer an opportunity to network locally, nationally, and internationally. Participants will be encouraged and enabled to support each other and problem-solve after the workshop.

11:30am-1pm -  Human Rights Campaign, Rm 105B
March to Equality: How Poetry Can Connect Youth to History
Kelly Di Giacinto, Neosha Hampton, Ryan Hurley, Maria Peeples, Margaret Rozga

Poets and activists will present the March to Equality gallery exhibit, a project that utilizes student-written poetry to bring Milwaukee’s rich Civil Rights history to life— developing a social justice curriculum that bridges disciplines, teaches 21st century research skills, builds community, and ignites a passion for change beyond the project’s original goals. The project chronicles the Milwaukee Fair Housing struggle of the 1960’s, focusing on the role of poetry in giving contemporary meaning and context to a struggle that happened decades ago. In the last half hour of the presentation, the audience will be invited to engage in a powerful dialogue on how the written and spoken word, imbued with local history, can awaken the next generation of change-makers.

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