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California Poets in the Schools empowers students of all ages throughout California to express their creativity, imagination, and intellectual curiosity through writing, performing and publishing their own poetry. We train and coordinate a multicultural network of published poets, who bring their passion and craft to public and private schools, juvenile halls, hospitals, libraries and other community settings.
California Poets in the Schools empowers nearly 28,000 students across California each year to tap into their inner wisdom, find a sense of purpose and belonging, and to speak their minds - through poetry. Ours is one of the nation’s oldest and largest artist-in-residency programs.
Poetry offers youth a path towards self-discovery and self-realization. Poetry empowers youth to work through big issues, and figure what they think about any given topic. Through the process of accessing their own creativity, youth find their own voice and an outlet for speaking their truth. Kids learn to listen to each other beyond stereotypes and build up a sense of empathy. In this day and age, this is critical and important work.
We train and employ over 100 working poets as teachers in California, offering these living artists a meaningful opportunity to make a difference in their community. Our Poet-teachers conduct poetry residencies in classrooms that range from 5-20+ weeks in length. Each lesson, youth are encouraged to read great poems, learn what is working well from those poems and then practice those techniques by writing and then reciting an original poem themselves. Over the past 54 years, California Poets in the Schools has perfected our curriculum to engage nearly every student in writing an original poem each and every lesson.