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Waxing poetic at West Street

by jmaloni
Thu, Oct 21st 2010 04:00 pm
Children's poet Brod Bagert from New Orleans visited West Street Elementary School on Oct. 12, sponsored by the West Street Friends of the Library.

Bagert promoted the importance of using voice in writing, reading and speaking.

"The idea of voice is simple; it's like writing lines for an actor in a movie," he said. "Sometimes I write in my own voice, but most of the time I write in the voice of the audience for whom the poem is intended. In a poem for kindergartners, the person talking in the poem is a kindergartner. In a poem for sixth graders, I write in a sixth-grader voice."

West Street's library media specialist Amy Young coordinated the author's visit.

"Brod was so enthusiastic! He really encouraged all the students to get excited about reading and writing!" she said.

Bagert made several presentations, including a teacher workshop, poetry writing seminars for students in second and fourth grade and assemblies for the whole school. He believes in the power of reciting poetry. Using humor, rhyme and rhythm, he showed the students at West Street how they could be poets, too.

Theron Mong, principal at West Street, worked to bring Bagert to the school after seeing him present as a keynote speaker at a literacy conference.

"Brod is the best presenter I have seen in my 15-year career. He engages students and teachers. He teaches students the importance being literate readers, as well as great oral communicators," Mong said.

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