Watson Chronicle


Programs for P-12 Students

WCE Students Bring Poetry Program to Williston Middle School

Sunday, May 04, 2014

EDN 200 taught by Candace Thompson worked with sixth graders at Williston Middle School

This spring, students in Candace Thompson’s EDN 200 class brought multi-cultural poetry books infused with traditional poetry to share with sixth graders at Williston Middle School. Throughout the semester, the college and middle school students worked together to learn genres and write poems.

On April 3, the student poets shared their work with parents, students and teachers at a Poetry Slam with the theme, “City Songs and Urban Beats: Poems About Me and My Community.” Watson College of Education students also performed as a group to show their appreciation of their student poets and Williston Middle School.

Thompson and Susan Catapano introduced the poetry program five years ago to give WCE students an early start working in schools and in the community. The program aims to engage sixth graders in creative thinking, writing and performance using poetry drawn from personal experiences. Originally conceived as a young authors program, the poetry initiative has evolved and is now more writing and performance oriented. This year, 33 sixth graders chose to participate in the program, which is offered as an option during their elective period.

Both college students and the middle schoolers love the creative aspects of the program, Thompson says. Every year seventh graders ask to come back to perform as guest poets at the Poetry Slam.

EDN 200 is the introductory course in the Watson College of Education teacher education program. Two grants from Friends of UNCW have enabled Thompson to purchase books, poetry boards and a camera in support of the program.