Thanks to a partnership with D97, OPEF’s popular Spoken Word residencies have expanded to include 6th grade as well as 7th grade.

The original 7th grade program launched in Fall 2015. Spoken Word is a powerful and effective medium for fostering creativity and self-expression in young people.Through both in-school residencies and extracurricular clubs, students learn to write and revise poems that reflect their own unique experiences, interests, and opinions. They then have opportunities to share their poetry in safe and supportive space.

“We’re thrilled to have the chance to start this program at a younger grade,” says Tracy Dell Angela Barber, OPEF’s executive director. “It’s so important to give new middle school students tools for expressing themselves. We’re fortunate to have experienced, creative and dedicated artists like Christian Robinson and Isaiah Makar to lead these residencies.”

During the residency, the students spend a week learning about this art form, reviewing poetic devices, drafting poems around specific themes, and performing for their classmates. The residency culminates in a class poetry slam, and once all residencies have been completed, a grade wide slam.

The sixth grade slams will take place Friday December 14th at Brooks and after winter break at Julian.

You can learn more about the Spoken Word program here.