Spoken word poetry is a dynamic teaching tool that allows poet mentors to help students develop strong writing and speaking skills. Regardless of whether students self-identify as “poets,” participants learn how to represent themselves, their experience, and their ideas powerfully. Sessions loop back to reading, writing, speaking, and listening standards. In addition to learning about literary tools and communication techniques, students apply these tools to magnify the strength of their writing and their speaking. These standards-based residences are facilitated by trained Teens With a Purpose Poet Mentors, who partner with teachers to bring high-level creative writing and performance poetry workshops into the classroom and after school clubs. The curriculum utilized is designed to help students bring their own personal narratives into dialogue with the issues and themes already being studied in the classroom.

Hear This! is a standards-based, school based & community program facilitated by trained Teens With a Purpose poet mentors/teaching artists, who partner with teachers to bring high-level creative writing and performance workshops into the classroom, after school clubs, community centers and group homes. The curriculum utilized is designed to help students bring their own personal narratives into dialogue with the issues and themes already being studied.

During these residencies, TWP Teaching Artists visit the school to perform original work, lead a master class, and/or critique student work, depending on the needs of the teacher. Teaching Artists show students different approaches to writing, often using pieces by acclaimed contemporary poets and lyricists as a starting point, and give students writing prompts to begin the work of crafting individual and group poems.

Teaching Artists will engage students on a weekly bases, sixty minute sessions.  At the conclusion of the year, students will have an opportunity to participate in a culminating event.  Students, come express yourself and your powerful ideas as a poet, rapper or writer, learn how to write, and mold their thoughts and ideas into ART.

Currently the Hear This Program is offered:

  • Bayside Sixth Grade Annex, Virginia Beach
  • Lakewood Academy for Discovery Middle School, Norfolk
  • I.C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth
  • Huntington Middle School, Newport News

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