Wordrhthym: Teaching Northend Kids that poetry isn’t just rhymes

Click here to read and listen to Wordrhythm: Teaching Northend Kids that poetry isn’t just rhymes at OpenFile Halifax

WORDRHYTHM: TEACHING NORTH END KIDS THAT POETRY ISN’T JUST RHYMES
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CHARLENE DAVIS

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Shauntay Grant runs Wordrhythm Kids, a poetry group for kids in the North End. (Photo by Raul Rincon)

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December 22, 2011

Click above for the audio piece “Wordrhythm Kids.” The text below is an introduction. The full story is in the audio piece above.

Children in the North End have the chance to dig deep and discover the poet within. Wordrhythm Kids is a new program focused on encouraging creativity through the written and spoken word.

Shauntay Grant , creator of Wordrhythm Kids and former poet laureate of Halifax, says “I really just wanted to create something that’s not a school based program and really talk about how there’s rhythm in language and story and song.”

Grant regularly goes into schools to do poetry and finds some students think poetry is going to be a chore. So her goal for Wordrhythm Kids is to let kids know that poetry is something to have fun with: “You can talk it, you can scream it, you can bang it from a drum—that’s what makes it exciting and I want them to have that same kind of excitement.”

The first session of Wordrhythm Kids, on November 3rd, was an hour of rhyme and imagination lead by Sheree Fitch . Hannah Colville, youth services librarian at Halifax North Memorial Library , says the kids “were excited, they were inspired, and they realized they could do poetry.” Grant led the second session on November 15th, which was an exploration in speaking poetry.

Sessions will continue in the New Year. Afua Cooper  will lead a session February 1. Cooper says she plans to teach the children to “come to their own voice,” letting them know they’re not too young to create and share poetry.

The next session will be in early April, with possibly more to come. Colville says, “we really want to showcase some up and coming spoken word artists.” She really likes the idea of young artists working with the children. Colville says, “it’s a chance for young people to get some experience delivering these workshops and it’s a chance for the kids here to meet them.”

Wordrhythm Kids is intended for children ages 8-12 and space is limited. Contact the Halifax North Memorial Public Library at (902) 490-5723 to learn about upcoming sessions and to pre-register.

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