Akron Community Foundation Workshops
The Wick Poetry Center, with support from the Howard Atwood Family Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, identified classrooms throughout Akron Public Schools to receive weekly poetry workshops led by WPC teaching artists Alice Cone, Daniel Dorman, and Bo Geisse, and Casey Nichols from February 2, 2015 through May 18, 2015. Teaching Artists were placed in residencies at the following locations: Lawndale Elementary in grades 3, 4, and 5 classes; Jennings Middle School in English Language Learning classes, grades 6, 7, and 8; Garfield High School in two classes, grade 10; Summit County Juvenile Detention Center with ages and grade level varying from grades 9 through 12 across six different classes. Over 215 students were serviced with poetry writing workshops on a weekly basis through this grant-supported project. At the end of each residency students visited the WPC’s May Prentice House & Poetry Park, presented a reading of their favorite poems written throughout the semester, and toured the Kent State University campus. Dates of APS visits: Lawndale Elementary, May 22; Jennings Middle School, May 27; Garfield High School, May 29. Teaching artists included: Alice Cone, Dan Dorman, Elisabeth Geisse, and Casey Nichols.
Perfect-bound chapbooks of poetry were created for each participating school, classroom, Akron Public School educator, and a set of the chapbooks will remain in the Wick Poetry Center, as well as in Kent State University’s Special Collections. Each book has one or two poems by every participating student. Because the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center students were not able to visit Kent State University and give a reading at the Wick Poetry Center, and because distribution of a book would have been difficult due to the minor’s anonymity, an ongoing website dedicated to the publication of students’ poetry from the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center was continued from the fall semester.