The Word is a transformative literary arts program for New Haven young people. The Word partners experienced teaching poets, award-winning spoken-word artists, and emcees with creative students, teachers, and administrators across the city to equip youth to become stronger poets and culture creators.
3 AWESOME WAYS TO BRING THE WORD TO YOUR SCHOOL
Arts education is an essential tool for educational reform in New Haven. We believe that increasing students' access to the arts through The Word will dramatically improve their educational outcomes, as consistently borne out by research, and that training teachers on integrating arts into the curriculum will extend these gains to students who may not even be directly involved with the program.
Teaching Artists teach an existing class of students to critique, write and perform poetry, spoken word, or hip-hop. Teaching Artists collaborate with the classroom teacher to connect student writing to existing curriculum, to prepare students for the Citywide Jam and Anthology, and to help teachers adapt the Teaching Artists’ lessons for their own use. 10 sessions: 2-3 sessions per week for 3-5 weeks.
AFTER SCHOOL RESIDENCES
Teaching Artists help a group of self-selected student poets and rappers hone their writing and performance skills in after-school workshops, which may culminate in in-school poetry slams and/or participation in the Citywide Jam and Anthology. Unlimited sessions, usually one afternoon per week.
INTRO TO THE WORD
Teaching Artists lead a one-time introduction to spoken word during or after school, focusing on igniting student passion for poetry through a performance, writing prompt, conversation, and information about ways to get involved.
The importance of poetry to any student’s growth is multifaceted. As far back as humans have recorded their history in words, it has been recorded in poetry. In reading poetry, students are challenged to analyze words on a deeper level than any literary or informational prose asks them to. When writing poetry, students become more conscious of their word choices and of their words as art. The skills students master through poetry are transferrable to their non-poetic reading and writing. However, while poetry connects us to our human past and makes us stronger critical thinkers, most importantly it provides us an opportunity to see the beauty of language. It is through poetry that we catch glimpses of the beauty of the world through the eyes of another and share our perspective with the world.
~ Lead English Teacher, New Haven Public Schools