Last fall, something pretty great happened. Actually, a lot of great things happened, but for the sake of saving space, and because you have beautiful weather to get out and enjoy, we’ll stick to one thing. In November, we teamed up with the amazing poet (and break dancer!) Scott Beal to teach a workshop in which students took bus rides and wrote poetry about their experiences. AATA was kind enough to let us publish the poems in seventy buses. Pretty great, right?
This spring, we took our writers’ group from Hikone Community Center and did it again. Long-time volunteer (and soon to leave us for med school, sniffle sniffle, we’re sad but proud) Rosie Iordanova and her sidekick Elyse Guilfoyle (we know, we know, they have superhero names, which is fitting) have been teaching weekly writing workshops to these young students for well over a year now.
The bus ride itself looked something like this:
Shah’liah smiled and cracked a lot of jokes.
L’andria in a (seemingly rare) quiet moment.
Victoria grinned while Amy snapped a photo.
That’s Rosie in the top right-hand corner. Hi Rosie!
Which is to say: fun, introspective, and a little bit silly.
The poetry itself looks something like this, a snippet of Stacia’s poem:
Look at yellow, follow these rules
Two red-faced people kissing on the sidewalk
Orange babies crying
Green grass, play fast
Blue shoes walk magically
We have to admit we’re pretty much madly in love with all of the poems that these students we have come to know over the last two years (they’re also the group who reads to Colby!) wrote. You can see the poems in seventy AATA buses through the end of August. And if just reading the poetry is not enough for you, join us this Wednesday night at the Hikone Community Center (2724 Hikone Drive) at 6:30pm. The students will read their poetry, and if that’s not enough for you, there will be pizza, and if that’s not enough for you, there have been rumors that 826michigan’s official mascot, Colby, a black lab service dog, will be there as well! And if that’s not enough for you, well, is anything ever enough?
Many thanks to Rosie and Elyse! And Rosie, we are going to miss you, a lot. You are probably our sassiest volunteer. Best of luck to you at med school! We know (because we’ve seen it!) that whatever you do will be amazing. Many thanks to our friends at CAN (Community Action Network), specifically Aaron Pressel, who runs Hikone and is wonderful, and Joan Doughty, who runs CAN and is also wonderful. We love working with your students! (More on the other stuff we’re doing with CAN this summer later.) Thanks also to everyone at AATA, especially Mary Stasiak and Lois Crawford. Let’s do it again, shall we?