May 12, 2022

First year of poetry project begins at Baldwin Public Library

April is National Poetry Month, and the Baldwin Public Library hosts a poetry project for children in grades three through six.

Photo courtesy of Baldwin Public Library

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BIRMINGHAM — To celebrate National Poetry Month, Baldwin Public Library is running a special poetry project throughout April.

The library generally recognizes National Poetry Month by presenting an exhibition of poetry books and organizing various programs. However, this is the first year of the Poetry Project.

“The poetry project is for children in grades three through six. We hope to encourage a love of poetry and give children the opportunity to express themselves through words,” Melissa Behrens, Youth Services Librarian, said via email.

Children participating in the poetry project will receive a take-home package with unique activities related to the art of poetry.

One of the activities involves participants writing an original poem or their favorite poem on a piece of paper and bringing it back to the library. These sheets will then be displayed on the Baldwin Public Library’s Poet Tree in the Youth Hall throughout April. Participants will also receive a prize bag when they donate their sheet to the library.

“We just hope it gives children the opportunity to explore their own creativity and use words in a different way,” said Susan Dion, Children’s Library Specialist.

Another activity involves swatches of paint strips that can be found at hardware stores. Children can be inspired by the paint colors to write an original haiku on the paint strip. Once they’re done, they can attach their haiku paint strip to a magnet.

“I don’t know if all the schools teach poetry as a special unit, or maybe they do it in their English curriculum, but we just think it would be a really good way to express their creativity” , said Dion.

The third activity is similar to what is called “refrigerator poetry” where the words on magnets are arranged to form a poem. For the Poetry Project activity, the library will provide children with a series of printed words that they can lay out and glue onto a sheet of black paper. If they bring it back, the library will laminate it and display their work.

“Now it seems like more children’s fiction is in verse. It’s something we noticed, so we thought it would be a great idea,” Dion said.

More information about the Poetry Project at the Baldwin Public Library can be found at baldwinlib.org.

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